Inspired by the Soviet principles of urbanism and their mutation post-collapse of the USSR, Russian artist Elena Kolesnikova’s project Cosy Urbanism, place the question: how can one have experience of cosiness while being surrounded by the chaotic result of a collision between Soviet planning and wild individualised creativity, neglecting any principles of harmony? She re-interpreted the buildings, which are associated in her memory with the feelings of belonging and comfort, into the sofa pillows, which can be comfortably arranged in the comfort of one’s house. In the context gallery’s stand, Kolesnikova’s soft maquettes are entering the direct conversation with the traditional architectural models. The imaginary city, which rises from the artists’ selection from the various urban environments, crosses the national, cultural and stylistic boundaries. In a way, Kolesnikova’s cosy buildings present the manifestation of the personal urban utopia. The display features archetypal “heroes” of urban landscapes of contemporary Russia, such as “Classical Shawarma” food shop or “Lady Boss” beauty salon. Despite standing in the cityscape as default placeholders, that make all Russian provincial cities so look alike, these buildings also reflect the cultural struggles within the country on the battle lines of immigration and gender politics in this particular case.
About the Artist