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BUILDINGS AND PROJECTS

PUBLISHER
FUEL Publishing

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 8 x 6.5 in. / 192 pgs / 176 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2018 p. 60   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9780995745520 TRADE
List Price: $32.50 CDN $42.50

AVAILABILITY
In stock

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FUEL PUBLISHING

Brutal Bloc Postcards

Soviet Era Postcards from the Eastern Bloc

Edited by Damon Murray, Stephen Sorrell. Foreword by Jonathan Meades.

Brutal Bloc Postcards

Brutalist hotels, avant-garde monuments and futurist TV towers: rare and previously unpublished vintage postcards from the Eastern Bloc

Brutal concrete hotels, futurist TV towers, heroic statues of workers—this collection of Soviet-era postcards documents the uncompromising landscape of the Eastern Bloc through its buildings and monuments. These are interspersed with quotes from prominent figures of the time, which both support and confound the ideologies presented in the images.

In contrast to the photographs of a ruined and abandoned Soviet empire we are accustomed to seeing today, the scenes depicted here publicize the bright future of communism: social housing blocks, palaces of culture and monuments to comradeship. Dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, they offer a nostalgic yet revealing insight into social and architectural values of the time, acting as a window through which we can examine cars, people and, of course, buildings. These postcards, sanctioned by the authorities, were intended to show the world what living in communism looked like.

Instead, this postcard propaganda inadvertently communicates other messages: outside the House of Political Enlightenment in Yerevan, the flowerbed reads "Glory to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union"; in Novopolotsk, art-school pupils paint plein air, their subject a housing estate; at the Irkutsk Polytechnic Institute students stroll past a 16-foot-tall concrete hammer and sickle. These postcards are at once sinister, funny, poignant and surreal.


Featured postcard, of Broken Ring Monument, 1966, Lake Ladoga, Karelian ASSR, is reproduced from 'Brutal Bloc Postcards.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

AnOther Magazine

Milly Burroughs

In rather stark contrast to the documentation of Soviet architecture commonly showcased today, this surreal collection of images consists of scenes depicting what was considered the bright future of Communism.

CNN

Marianna Cerini

"Brutal Bloc Postcards" plays on nostalgia while exploring Brutalism's social ideas and the ambitious scale of Soviet urban planning.

Brutal Bloc Postcards

in stock  $32.50


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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/27/2019

'Brutal Bloc Postcards' collects rare and previously unpublished vintage postcards from the Eastern Bloc

'Brutal Bloc Postcards' collects rare and previously unpublished vintage postcards from the Eastern Bloc

Featured image—a 1968 postcard promoting the Flower of Life Memorial in Vsevolozhsky District, USSR—is reproduced from Brutal Bloc Postcards: Soviet Era Postcards from the Eastern Bloc, the latest in Fuel Publishing's series of books on marvelously weird and weirdly marvelous defunct Soviet architecture and design. Other stand-out postcards depict a monument to "Conquerors of Near Universe," a memorial of (unspecified) military glory, various radio towers, neighborhoods, restaurants and cafes, wedding palaces, a state circus and an "area of new development," to name just a few. continue to blog


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