Artist Translates Into Prints the Atmosphere and Nostalgia of Polish Soviet Architecture

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Artist Translates Into Prints the Atmosphere and Nostalgia of Polish Soviet Architecture

Artist Translates Into Prints the Atmosphere and Nostalgia of Polish Soviet Architecture - Image 1 of 6
“The End of the Line”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

For varied reasons, architects have been driven away from professional practice. Sometimes, however, they continue to design buildings in other media and support. Vinicius Libardoni is an Italian-Brazilian architect and artist who migrated from Autocad to metal engraving, passing through woodcut, and has been building imaginary architectures ever since.

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Expired Futures is a series of six metal engravings, the result of his master’s thesis at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wrocław, Poland. Exploring temporal inaccuracies, the works are portraits of a past in the present time without the possibility of a future. The buildings depicted in the series of prints are ruins under construction, architectures that evoke a strong sense of nostalgia – a collective nostalgia common to Eastern European countries.

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“Derelict”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

The End of the Line represents Nadodrze Railway Station, built in 1868 and designed by German architect Hermann Grapow; Four Walls features a 19th century residential building located on Malte Island; Derelict shows us the Sułkowice Mill built in 1890; Dissolving Boundaries is the depiction of the Chemistry Department auditorium designed by Krystyna Barska and Marian Barski in 1964; Out of Context features the 1993 Solpol building, a gem of Polish postmodernism; and Deadly Repetition represents the monotonous and repetitive landscape of communist-era housing blocks, without referring to any particular building.

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“Four Walls”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

The thread that aligned these architectures is guided by the artist’s walk in this foreign territory, which little by little ends up becoming his home. This thought-provoking private collection of Wrocław architecture, inventoried by the artist from the practice of situational drift, is a private cut made public through reinterpretation and representation through metal engraving.

Solid brick and concrete ruins supported by independent structures that strive to keep them up – perennial in time, refuting at all costs the idea that the future is unattainable for them. The artist-architect designs support elements in the hope of keeping his memory-containing buildings standing. But he designs them with little conviction: the material used is wood, visually lighter and more fragile than concrete and masonry, and the supporting parts clearly have insufficient sections to support the entire weight of those sentimental architectures for a long time.

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“Dissolving Boundaries”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

It is added to the austere and serene atmosphere of the engravings, thus, a layer of fantasy and irrationality. This feeling is corroborated by the artist’s decision to deliberately suppress sky, horizon and, most notoriously, the land. All six larger prints show architectures that are fully or partially suspended, without a floor, detached from solid ground. Here there is a fundamental inversion of telluric tectonics practiced since antiquity, in which architecture literally rests on the earth; in these prints, immense buildings are placed in a state of material suspension that somehow echoes the suspension of time evoked by their presence in today’s city.

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“Out of Context”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

Sentimental geographies, the artist’s objects of interest can be understood as wrinkles in space-time. In his book The Nature of Space, geographer Milton Santos calls roughness what remains from the past as “form, built space, landscape, what remains of the process of suppression, accumulation, superposition, with which things are replaced and accumulated everywhere”. Just like the geography of the body, with its folds, crevices and roughness, the wrinkles of the urban territory are records of the passage of time in that place – scars that attest to absent presences: the past itself in the present.

Expired Futures are the futures that could have been but that will never be, they are the possibilities that have never been lived or even a prophecy of a future that can never exist.

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“Deadly Repetition”. Gravura em metal para a série “Expired Futures”. Image Cortesia de Vinicius Libardoni

Discover Vinicius Libardoni’s work on his Instagram and website.

This article is part of the ArchDaily Topics: Aesthetics, proudly presented by Vitrocsa the original minimalist windows since 1992. The aim of Vitrocsa is to merge the interior and exterior with creativity. Vitrocsa designed the original minimalist window systems, a unique range of solutions, dedicated to the frameless window boasting the narrowest sightline barriers in the world: “Manufactured in line with the renowned Swiss Made tradition for 30 years, our systems are the product of unrivaled expertise and a constant quest for innovation, enabling us to meet the most ambitious architectural visions.” Every month we explore a topic in-depth through articles, interviews, news, and projects. Learn more about our ArchDaily topics. As always, at ArchDaily we welcome the contributions of our readers; if you want to submit an article or project, contact us.

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Cite: Baratto, Romullo. “Artist Translates Into Prints the Atmosphere and Nostalgia of Polish Soviet Architecture” [Artista traduz em gravuras a atmosfera e nostalgia da arquitetura soviética polonesa] 16 Jun 2022. ArchDaily. (Trans. Simões, Diogo) Accessed .

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