Moisei Ginzburg, “Results and Prospects” (1927)

From Sovremennaia arkhitektura, Autumn 1927 (no. 4/5, pg. 116)

Leonidov’s work ‘The Lenin Institute of Librarianship’ is exceptionally interesting methodologically and deserves thorough consideration.  Amongst the other works exhibited at the SA Exhibition it stands out particularly for its originality of approach.

All the same, there is a ‘but’ in Leonidov’s work.  Solving his problems by Constructive means, and very bold ones, though they are technically feasible and theoretically applicable, Leonidov at the same time creates something which is impossible to realize today.  Having taken a bold leap out of ordinariness, he has fallen into a certain utopianism.  This utopianism consists not only in the fact that the USSR is not now economically strong enough to erect such buildings, but also in the fact that Leonidov was not really able to prove that his constructive conundrum was actually necessary, i.e. that this solution and only this will solve the problem concerned.

Thus while noting that Leonidov’s work in a sense constitutes a landmark and reference point for our future work, we must still not forget about these real conditions in which our practical activities have to take place.

Constructivism is the most relevant and timely working method for our present conditions.  A Constructivist is working today in the interests of tomorrow.  That is why he should avoid all yesterday’s stereotypes and canons, and with them all the dangers of utopianism.  He must not forget that in working for tomorrow he is in fact building today.

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~ by Ross Wolfe on June 23, 2011.

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