1. House of Physical Education "Work" in  Moscow  

    House of Physical Education "Work" in  Moscow


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      House of Physical Education "Work" in  Moscow


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      House of Physical Education "Work" in  Moscow


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      Service Center communication in the city of Vologda

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      The Planetarium building in city of Vladimir

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      The Planetarium building in city of Kostroma

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      House of Culture in city of Danilov

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      Crystal Lacquer Miniatures and Embroidery Museum in city of Vladimir


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      Clothing factory in the city of Torzhok

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      The Russian State Museum of the Arctic and Antarctic in St. Petersburg

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      Auto Service in the city of Vologda

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      Mordovian Republican  Combined Museum of Local Lore named after I.D.Voronin in the city of Saransk

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      Factory of plastic products in the city of Vologda

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       Regional Art Gallery in the city of Vologda

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      Regional Puppet Theatre "Teremok" in the city of Vologda

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    Alla Afonina / Vera Laponkina

    Sacred place (project in progress)

    We started working on this project in March 2014. We explore the churches that have not been used for their original purpose since the Soviet period. Instead, they were turned into shops, cultural centres, gyms, educational institutions, museums, planetariums,  houses, plants and factories. We photograph all over Russia trying to capture how sometimes contradictory contexts paradoxically combine in a single whole.

    We travelled a lot and made photos in Vologda, Torzhok, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Dmitrov, Saransk, Kostroma, Danilov.  Some of the churches we found there were rebuilt and turned into ordinary buildings and only special fragments of old interiors and facades were preserved. We found unusual angles for our pictures to show how old church architecture with arks, vaulting, columns combines with new reality. Some buildings still had frescoes depicting saints, sometimes they were located in the attic, but unfortunately most of them have not survived. Also we talked with people, who lived where and they made interesting  comments about  the churches and remembered fantastic stories about their old life.

    This project is not finished, we have some new extraordinary places which must be photographed this year. We think that this project is very important for modern world and especially for Russia. In recent years the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church has been growing and the process of the restitution of Church buildings has become easier. Some former churches from our project were returned to Orthodox Church. They were reconstructed and now one can see priests, icons and religious services there.



    Алла Афонина / Вера Лапонкина

    Святое место (проект в разработке)

    Работа над проектом началась в 2014 году и продолжается по настоящее время. Мы исследуем церкви, которые в советское время перестали использоваться по прямому назначению.

    Массовое закрытие церквей началось в конце 1920-х годов. Сносу подлежали не менее половины храмов в каждом городе, остальные были обезглавлены и перестроены, превратившись в магазины, дома культуры, спортзалы, музеи, планетарии, жилые дома, тюрьмы, больницы, учебные заведения, государственные учреждения, заводы и фабрики. На сегодняшний же день активно происходит процесс реституции церковного имущества Русской Православной церкви.

    Во многих случаях после «перепрофилирования» от старых церквей сохранились лишь отдельные фрагменты интерьеров и фасадов. Нас интересуют не только архитектурные признаки, арки, своды, колонны, но и новая реальность церковного здания, то, как противоречивые порой контексты, взаимодействуя, непрерывно влияя друг на друга, парадоксально соединяются в единое целое.