The Lost Horizonprojectillustratesthe utopia of building the ideal world. Or rather, the half-forgotten traces and ruins of that utopia: the Soviet architecture and monuments that symbolically affirmed the advancement and technical progress of the Communist future. Tkachenko took night-time photos of these objects, built by the Soviet authorities, with a 6×6 medium–format camera and a powerful light source. Thus he enclosed them in a black void, referencingthe Black Squareby Kazimir Malevichandthe beginnings of the Russian avant-garde, orthe origins of the Soviet utopia. The radical rejection of the old and the belief in the start of anew,ideal cosmic life devoted to the liberation ofmankind, served to unifythe aesthetic project of the Russian militants and the political project of the Soviet supreme powers. If Black Square was the artistic embodiment of utopia, then Soviet rule was its social implementation. Time has brought back the original meaning of utopia: u-topos is the absent place, the place of nowhere. At present,the USSR is a utopia in the strictest sense.
Danila Tkachenko * 1989 in Moscow, lives in Moscow