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Urbanotopia and the frontier : reaching heights before the crash in Moscow and New York at the end of… Idzior, Aleksandra 2004

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Urbanotopia and the Frontier: Reaching Heights before the Crash in Moscow and New York at the End of the 1920s by c Aleksandra Idzior M . A., Physical Training Academy, Poznan, 1982 M . A., University of Adam Mickiewicz, Poznan, 1986 M . A., University of Toronto, 1994 A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctorate of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory The University of British Columbia August, 2004 © Aleksandra Idzior, 2004 11 A B S T R A C T My dissertation investigates, at its broadest level, the visualization of the future city in Moscow and New York at the end of the 1920s. In particular I examine two imaginative designs executed in the form of "paper architecture." One proposition was delivered by Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, a Soviet student of architecture, who in 1928 presented a diploma project called Gorod budushchego (City of the Future), and the other model was suggested by Hugh Ferriss, an architectural Tenderer, in his book entitled The Metropolis of Tomorrow, published in 1929.1 want to discover the circumstances that prompted these two architects to suggest intriguing concepts of the ideal city, in which both authors employed similar metaphors, associated with height and a skyward trend applied to urban space. Evidently their projects announced novel ways to rethink the form of a modern city, but why is the improbable concept of " f l y i ng " such an important part of Krutikov 's gorod, and why does Ferriss's metropolis evoke mountainous formations? What were the conditions at play at the end of the 1920s that prompted both architects to propose such eccentric visions? Since Krutikov's professional debut coincided with the Communist Party's adoption of Stalin's First Five-Year-Plan (October 1928 - December 1932), and Ferriss's publication concurred with the Wal l Street Crash inl929, my interest leads me to reevaluate these two projects according to issues and ideas residing outside of aesthetics Ill and to disclose the politics of representation involved in their production. Hence, my work considers how artistic practice is interconnected with socio-political issues in albeit politically and culturally distinguishable centres. As this thesis demonstrates, Krutikov and Ferriss responded to these growing tensions by imbuing their Utopian urban spaces with concepts related to boundaries and limits, and by applying rhetoric and visual vocabulary that resound with issues occupying the Soviet and American "frontier" paradigm, respectively. However, as this study concludes, while appreciating Krutikov 's and Ferriss's great imagination and the dilemmas each of them faced, we should recognize the vicissitudes of their concepts, and how the following events, especially ofthe 1930s, revealed that Utopian thinking is vulnerable, or perhaps induced to become a dystopian reality. iv T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Figures vi Acknowledgements xvii I NTRODUCT ION 1 C H A P T E R ONE: Moscow and New York in the 1920s: Challenges and Solutions 29 Moscow 35 New York 58 "Paper Architecture" by Krutikov and Ferriss 75 C H A P T E R TWO: Krutikov 's Diploma Project 88 Content, Layout and Medium 88 Analysis of the Status Quo 105 Technology and the City of the Future 128 "F ly ing C i ty " 139 Critical Reception 155 C H A P T E R THREE : Ferriss's Book 164 Content, Layout and Medium 164 Technology and the Metropolis of Tomorrow 172 The Existing City 179 Negative and Positive Urban Tendencies 188 The Envisioned City 198 Critical Reception 212 C H A P T E R FOUR: The Metropolis of Tomorrow as the "New Frontier" 223 The Frontier Hypothesis and the City 223 From "City on a H i l l " to "C i ty as a Mountain" 232 V C H A P T E R F IVE: The "Frontier" Factor in Krutikov 's Gorod budushchego 255 War Communism and Internationalism (1918-1921) 258 The New Economic Policy (1921-1928) 275 "Socialism in one country" and the Introduction of the Five-Year-Plan 278 Opposition 281 Frontiers of Utopia 284 C O N C L U S I O N : Things to Come 290 APPEND IX : Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov 's text of his diploma project 311 Sources 318 Archives Consulted 318 Bibliography 319 Figures 366 vi L IST O F F IGURES Fig. 1: Kazimir Severinovich Malevich, Project for a Suprematist Skyscraper for New York City. Collage. Illustration in Praesens (Warsaw), no. 1 (September 1926), 28. Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz. In Dawn Ades, Photomontage (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1986), 104, 111. 126. Fig. 2: Izvestiia AsNovA, no. 1 (1926). Page with Nikolai Ladovskii 's article "Neboskrioby C C C P i Amer i k i " (Skyscrapers of the USSR and America) and illustrations by Ivan Iosifovich Volodko and Vital i Alekseievich Lavrov. Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal. In Jean-Louis Cohen, Scenes ofthe World to Come. European Architecture and the American Challenge, 1893-1960 (Paris: Flammarion, 1995), 124, 111. 95. Fig. 3: George B. Ford, New York City Zone Law Diagrams (detail), 1916. In Harvey W. Corbett, "High Buildings on Narrow Streets," The American Architect CX I X , no. 2369 (June 8, 1921), 605, Fig. 1. Fig. 4: Hugh Ferriss, A Mass Envelope. Four Stages, 1922. In G. H. Edgell, The American Architecture of To-Day (New York, London: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1928), 357. Fig. 5: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, The Premise ofthe Project "City ofthe Future." 1928. Panel 1: Optical Deformation of a Mobile Form; Panel 2: Composition of Mobile Buildings. Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/1-4. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), Plate 691. Fig. 6: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City ofthe Future, 1928. Panel 1: A Flying Dwell ing Unit; Panel 2: Dwelling Organization; Panel 3: Dwell ing Organization, Second Variant; Panel 4: City Organization. Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 7: Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko, Maquette for illustration to Pro eto (About This), a poem by Vladimir Vladimirovich Maiakovskii, 1923. Cut-and-pasted printed papers, gelatin-silver photographs, ink, and gouache on cardboard, 35.3 x24.4 cm. In Magdalena Dabrowski, Leah Dickerman, Peter Galassi, Aleksandr Rodchenko (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998), Plate 69. Fig. 8: Nikolai Andreevich Dolgorukov, Transportnik, vooruzhaisia tekhnicheskimi znaniamii, boris' za rekonstruktsiu transporta (Transport Worker, Armed with the Knowledge of Technology, Fight for the Reconstruction of Transport System), 1931. Litograph, 104.4 x 72.8 cm. Collection Merri l l C. Berman. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), Plate 444. Fig. 9: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise of the Project "City of the Future." 1928. Panel 4: Evolution of the Form of an Automobile and a Train. Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/1-4. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), Plate 692. Fig. 10: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise of the Project "City of the Future." 1928. Panel 3: Form Organization of a Dynamic Element. Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/1-4. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), Plate 692. Fig. 11: Postcard, Moskva budushchego (Moscow of the Future), 1913. In Catherine Cooke, Russian Avant-Garde: Theories of Art, Architecture and the City (London: Academy Editions, 1995), back cover. Fig. 12: Paul Citroen, Metropolis, 1923. Collage of printed matter on paper, 76 x 59 cm. Prentenkabinet, Rijkuveniversiteit, Leiden, Netherlands. In Ruth Eaton, Ideal Cities: Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environment (London: Thames and Hudson, 2002), 155. Fig. 13: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise of the Project "City of the Future." 1928. Panel 2: Composition of Mobile Constructions. Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/1-4. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), Plate 691. VI I I Fig. 14: Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko, News-stand, 1928. In Selim Omarovich Khan-Magomedov, Rodchenko. The Complete Work, V ier i Qui l ic i , ed., (London: Thames and Hudson, 1986), 296. Fig. 15: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise ofthe Project "City ofthe Future." 1928. Panel 14: "Conquest of a New Space." Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/13-16. In Catherine Cooke, Architectural Drawings ofthe Russian Avant-Garde (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1990), Plate 80, p. 98. Fig. 16: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise ofthe Project "City ofthe Future." 1928. Panel 15: "Conquest of a New Space." Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/13-16. In Catherine Cooke, Architectural Drawings ofthe Russian Avant-Garde (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1990), Plate 80, p. 99. Fig. 17: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise ofthe Project "City ofthe Future." 1928. Panel 16: "Dreams, Fantasies, First Attempts, Caricature, and Accomplishments. Collage," paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11200/13-16. In Catherine Cooke, Architectural Drawings ofthe Russian Avant-Garde (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1990), Plate 80, p. 99. Fig. 18: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, Premise ofthe Project "City ofthe Future." 1928. Panel 12: "Evolution of Constructions — from Cave to Housing in the A i r . " Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R i a l 1200/9-12. In Selim Omarovich Khan-Magomedov, Vhutemas, Moscou 1920-1930 (Paris: Editions du Regard, 1990), 626. Fig. 19: E l Lissitzky, The WolkebiXgel (Sky Stirrup) project, a skyscraper block for Moscow, 1925 (seen from above). Watercolour sketch, 1924. State Tret'iakov Gallery, Moscow. In Sophie Lissitzky-Kuppers, El Lissitzky. Life, Letters, Texts (London: Thames and Hudson, 1968), Plate 230. Fig. 20: Konstantin Edvardovich Tsiolkovskii, spacecraft design dated to 1903, 1914 and 1915. In Frederick C. Durant III and George S. James, First Steps Toward Space (Washington D. C : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1974), 271, Fig. 4. Fig. 21: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 1: " A Flying Dwell ing Unit " (detail). Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x .1.43 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 22: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 4: "C i ty Organization." Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 23: Nikolai Aleksandrovich Ladovskii, Experimental Project, Zhivskui'ptarkh: communal house; elevation, 1920. Pencil, coloured pencil, and coloured india ink on tracing paper mounted on paper, 31 x 40 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Plate 654. Fig. 24: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 2: "Dwel l ing Organization (First Variant)." Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 25: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 3: "Dwel l ing Organization" (detail of the Second Variant). Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 26: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 3: "Dwel l ing Organization" (detail of the Third Variant). Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 27: Grigorii A. Berdshatskii, Front cover of the book by Vladimir Vladimirovich Maiakovskii Letaiushchii proletarii (Flying Proletarian), 1925. Litograph, 22.5 x 15.3 cm. In Margit Rowell, Deborah Wye, The Russian Avant-Garde Book, 1910-1934 ( New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2002), 201. Fig. 28: Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, City of the Future, 1928. Panel 2: "Dwell ing Organization" (detail: Capitalism / Chaos," "Socialism / Organization," ). Collage, paper, india ink, and photographs on cardboard, 47.8 x 143 cm. A. V. Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R I a 11196/1-18. In Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos: From Romanticism to the Avant-garde (Montreal, Munich, New York: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Prestel Verlag, 1999), 216. Fig. 29: Hugh Ferriss, Two pages illustrating The Metropolis of Tomorrow, in Aleksei Viktorovich Shchusev and L.E. Zagorskii, Arkhitekturnaia organizatsia goroda (Architectural City Organization), (Moscow: Gosstroizdat, 1934), 18-19. Collection Jean-Louis Cohen, Paris. In Jean-Louis Cohen, Scenes of the World to Come. European Architecture and the American Challenge, 1893-1960 (Paris: Flammarion, 1995), 154. Fig. 30: Dustjacket of Hugh Ferriss's The Metropolis of Tomorrow (New York: Ives Washburn, 1929). The drawing dates from 1924. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986), 148. Fig. 31: Hugh Ferriss, "The Shelton Hotel," 1927. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 31. Fig. 32: Hugh Ferriss, "Finance," c. 1925. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 129. Fig. 33: Hugh Ferriss, "Project for Glass Skyscraper." Charcoal crayon. In Machine-Age Exposition, catalogue (New York: Little Review, 1927), 4. Fig. 34: Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Project for Skyscraper in the Friedrichstrafie: perspective. Competition project., Berlin 1922. Charcoal and pencil on paper, 140 x 100 cm. Bauhaus- Archiv, Berlin. Cat. III/338. In Irina Antonova, Jorn Merkert, eds., Berlin-Moskva, Berlin-Moskau: 1900-1950 (Moskva: Galart, Munich: Prestel, 1996), 210. Fig. 35: Hugh Ferriss, "Verticals on Wide Avenues," 1926. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 87. Fig. 36: Hugh Ferriss, "Philosophy," 1928. Charcoal pencil on paper, 102.2 x 56 cm. Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 137. Fig. 37: Unknown, "Steel Reaches into the Future," American Institute of Steel Construction advertisement, American Architect, 1930. In Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan, Yesterday's Tomorrows. Past Visions of the American Future (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1996), 42. Fig. 38: Jose Arentz, illustration for Goodrich Silvertown Tires advertisement, c. 1931. In Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan, Yesterday's Tomorrows. Past Visions ofthe American Future (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1996), 42. Fig. 39: Unknown, "Daringly, Distinctively Modern," General Electric refrigerator advertisement, Fortune, 1931. In Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan, Yesterday's Tomorrows. Past Visions ofthe American Future (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 1996), 42. Fig. 40: Hugh Ferriss, "The Chrysler Building." Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 53. Fig. 41: Hugh Ferriss, "The Radiator Building." Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 29. Fig. 42: John Marin, Downtown New York,\926. Watercolour on paper. Kennedy Galleries, New York. In Robert A. M . Stern, Gregory Gilmartin, Thomas Mellins, et al., New York 1930. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars (New York: Rizzol i, 1987), 51. Fig. 43: Staged photograph of Hugh Ferriss on his studio parapet, not dated. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 152, Fig. 3. Fig. 44: Hugh Ferriss, "Bird 's-Eye View. The City at Dawn," c. 1923. Charcoal crayon.. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 14. Fig. 45: Hugh Ferriss, "The City at Night," 1925. Charcoal crayon on paper, 36.8 x 55.9 cm. Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss, 1964-5-13. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design, New York. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 19. Fig. 46: Caspar David Friedrich. The Wanderer Above the Mists, c. 1817-1818. O i l on canvas, 74.8 x 94.8 cm. Kunsthalle, Hamburg. In Hugh Honour and John Fleming, The Visual Arts: A History (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall), 664, Fig. 15-19. Fig. 47: Thomas Moran, The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, 1872. O i l on canvas, 213.2 x 367 cm. National Collection of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D. C. Lent by the U. S. Department of Interior, National Park Service. In Wi l l iam H. Goetzmann and Wi l l iam N. Goetzmann, The West of the Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 1986), 176. Fig. 48: Hugh Ferriss, "Overhead Traffic-Ways," c. 1926. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 65. Fig. 49: Hugh Ferriss, "Glass," 1926. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 101. Fig. 50: Hugh Ferriss, "Night in the Science Zone," c. 1928. Charcoal pencil on board, 44.5 x 26.7 cm. Ellen Leich Moon, Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 125. Fig. 51: Hugh Ferriss, "Evolution of the Set-Back Building." Stages One to Three, 1922. Stage Four, c. 1925. Charcoal pencil on board. Each 64.8 x 50.2 cm. Gift of Mrs. Hugh Ferriss, 1969-137-1, 2, 3,4. The Cooper-Hewitt Museum, The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Design, New York. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 73, 75, 77, 79. Fig. 52: Hugh Ferriss, "C i ty of the Imagination: Bird 's-Eye V iew," c. 1928. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 108. Fig. 53: Hugh Ferriss, "Business Center," 1927. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 113. Fig. 54: Hugh Ferriss, "The Art Center," c. 1928. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 115. Fig. 55: Hugh Ferriss, "The Science Center," 1929. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 117. Fig. 56: Hugh Ferriss, "Looking West from the Business Center," 1928. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986[1929]), 121. Fig. 57: Hugh Ferriss, "V ista in the Art Zone," c. 1928. Charcoal crayon. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 123. Fig. 58: Hugh Ferriss, "Rel igion," 1925. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 135. Fig. 59: Jules Guerin for Daniel H. Burnham and Edward H. Bennett, V iew west of the proposed Civ ic Center Plaza, Chicago, 1908, plate 132 from the Plan of Chicago, 1909. Pencil and watercolour on paper, 76 x 105 cm. On permanent loan to The Art Institute of Chicago from the City of Chicago. In John Zukowsky, ed., Chicago Architecture, 1872-1922. Birth of a Metropolis (Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1987), Fig. 73, 407. Fig. 60: Hugh Ferriss, "Technology," 1929. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 131. Fig. 61: Hugh Ferriss, "C i ty Plan," c. 1929. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 139. Fig. 62: Louis XIV Commanding the Building ofthe Invalides, etching. In Le Corbusier, Urbanisme, (1925), trans. Frederick Etchells, The City of To-morrow and Its Planning, New York: Dover Publications, 1987), 302. Fig. 63: Hugh Ferriss, "Epilogue," c. 1929. Charcoal pencil. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 143. xiv Fig. 64: Thiery Martin of Louvain, print to Thomas More, Libellus vere aureus nec minus salutaris quam festivus de optimo reip[ublicae] statu, deq[ue] nova Insula Utopia, 1516. New York Public Library, Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature. In Roland Schaer, Gregory Claeys, Lyman Tower Sargent, eds., Utopia. The Search for the Ideal Society in the Western World (New York: Oxford, 2000), 3, Fig. 1. Fig. 65: Hugh Ferriss, "The Chanin Building," 1928. Charcoal pencil on paper, 61.0 x 24.8 cm. The Chanin Corporation, New York. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 51. Fig. 66: A page with Ferriss's illustration of "V ista in the Business Zone," from Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (1929). In Sheldon Cheney, The New World Architecture (London, New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1930), 399. Fig. 67: A page with Le Corbusier's drawing of " A Contemporary City," from Le Corbusier, The City of To-morrow and Its Planning [Urbanisme, 1925] (New York: Payson & Clarke Ltd., 1929). In Sheldon Cheney, The New World Architecture (London, New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1930), 400. Fig. 68: Hugh Ferriss, "The Lure of the City," 1925. Charcoal pencil on paper, 38.1 x 55.9 cm. Ann Ferriss Harris, Mystic, Connecticut. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), 58. Fig. 69: Hugh Ferriss, "Buildings like Mountains," 1924. Charcoal crayon on board, 27.9 x 21.6 cm. Ferdinand Eiseman, New York. In Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986 [1929]), frontispiece. Fig. 70: Eadweard Muybridge, Tenaya Canyon, Valley of the Yosemite from Union Point, 1872. Photograph. U.C.L.A Collection, No. 35. In Wi l l iam H. Goetzmann and Wi l l iam N. Goetzmann, The West of the Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton, 1986), 165. Fig. 71: Wi l l iam Henry Jackson, Toltec Gorge and Tunnel, c. 1887. Albumen print photograph, 54 x 41 cm. Boston Public Library, Print Department. In Susan Danly and Leo Marx, eds., The Railroad in American Art. Representations of Technological Change (Cambridge, M A , London: MIT Press, 1988), Fig. 23. X V Fig. 72: Wi l l iam Henry Jackson, Triangulation Operations on Silverton Mountain. Photograph, 1874. National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D. C. In Albert Boime, The Magisterial Gaze. Manifest Destiny and American Landscape Painting c. 1830-1865 (Washington and London: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991), Fig. 41. Fig. 73: Vladimir Evgrafovich Tatlin, The second model for Pamiatnik Ill-emu Internatsionalu {Monument to the Third International) exhibited at the Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, 1925, Paris. Photograph courtesy of Anatolii Strigalev. In Richard Andrews, Milena Kalinovska, et al., Art Into Life. Russian Constructivism, 1914-1932 (New York: Rizzol i , 1990), 139. Fig. 74: Dmitrii Stakhievich Moor, Da zdravstvuiet Hl-ii Internatsional! (Long Live the 3 r d International!), 1921. Litograph, 106 x 68.6 cm, Saltykov-Shchedrin State Public Library in St. Petersburg, inv. 166263. In Mikhai l Guerman, Art of October Revolution (Leningrad: Aurora Art Publishers, 1979), Fig. 70. Fig. 75: E l Lissitzky, Klinom krasnym bei belykh (Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge), 1920. Litograph, 49 x 69 cm. Lenin Library, Moscow. In The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum), Platel38. Fig. 76: Vladimir Evgrafovich Tatlin, Sketch-plan of Letatlin, n.d. Pencil on paper, 33.2 x 54.8 cm. Central State Theatre Museum of A. A. Bakhrushin, Moscow. In Richard Andrews, Milena Kalinovska, et al., Art Into Life. Russian Constructivism, 1914-1932 (New York: Rizzol i , 1990), 210. Fig. 77: Gustav Gustavovich Klutsis, front page photomontage for the newspaper Pravda (Truth) n.227 (5753), (August 18, 1933). Cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints, coloured paper, newsprint, gouache and pencil on paper. 59.5 x 41.9 cm. In Margarita Tupitsyn, Gustav Klutsis and Valentina Kulagina: Photography and Montage After Constructivism (New York: Center of Photography, 2004), 204, Fig. 149. Fig. 78: Rockefeller Center, Fifth to Sixth Avenue between West Forty-eighth and Fifty-first streets. Associated Architects, 1931-1940. Rendering of view from the east by John Wenrich, 1932. In Robert A. M . Stern, Gregory Gilmartin, Thomas Mellins, et al., New York 1930. Architecture and Urbanism Between the Two World Wars (New York: Rizzol i , 1987), 642. xvi Fig. 79: Lee Lawrie, Genius, Which Interprets to the Human Race the Laws and Cycles of the Cosmic Forces of the Universe, Making the Cycles of Sight and Sound, 1933. Polychromed masonry and glass. R C A building, Rockefeller Center, New York. Photograph by Aleksandra Idzior. Fig. 80: Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko, Voina budushchego (The War of the Future), 1930, photomontage maquette of an illustration for the magazine Za Rubezhom (Abroad) n.2, 1930. Collage cut and pasted, printed on paper, 51 x 35 cm. Galerie Berinson, Berlin. In Magdalena Dabrowski, Leah Dickerman, Peter Galassi, Aleksandr Rodchenko (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1998), Plate 275. X V I I A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S Working on this dissertation, I was fortunate to have three very inspiring, helpful, encouraging and engaging committee members, Serge Guilbaut, Carol Knicely and Sherry McKay. For their critical acumen, wise advice, insightful comments and shared knowledge I am forever grateful. This journey would not be finished without Serge's, Carol 's and Sherry's patience and sensitivity, for which I am very much appreciative. A special "thank you" goes to Serge for all the support he has given me over these many years. The University of British Columbia funded my studies in part, and the Art History Travel Research Scholarship from my Department enabled me to travel to Moscow, New York and Washington, D.C., for the necessary research, for which I am very thankful. In Moscow, the warmth and generosity of Marina Aleksandrovna Khrustaleva and her husband Pavel made my stay there comfortable, stimulating and beautiful. I still cherish the visit we made together to Konstantin Stepanovich Mel 'n ikov ' s house built in 1929 and the stories we shared at the dinner table with the architect's son, the painter Viktor Konstantinovich and his family. The atmosphere of this house, mixed with unforgettable conversations over salted fish and vodka, created a magical moment. Spasibo. The long talks on architecture and Utopia with Marina, and our long walks through the streets and galleries in Moscow made the whole experience so much richer. The Director of the Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture in Moscow, David XV111 Ashotovich Sarkisyan, went an extra mile in accommodating my research needs, while the leading Librarian, Nadezhda Ivanovna Smolina, made the rare books available. The help of the Archive Curators, Dotina Aleksandrovna Tiurina and Ol 'ga Georgievna Korshunova allowed me to closely study Krutikov's diploma project. To the whole staff of this Museum, for their professionalism and their sense of humour, I extend my heartfelt thanks. While in New York, the enthusiasm and expert help of Janet Parks, the Curator of Drawings and Archives at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, made my visits to the archives enjoyable and inspiring. The hospitality of Andrea Podhorsky, who invited me to share her apartment while I was researching in New York, made me feel at home while in the United States. I would like to thank Lynn Pedigo, the Reference Librarian at the Library of Congress in Washington, D. C , for her valuable professional assistance. Iza and Wojtek Makalowscy, two friends from my old town in Poland, opened their home to me when I worked in Washington, D.C., and shared their ideas in discussions going late into the night. We exchanged our opinions on politics and Utopia while sitting under the image of Don Quixote that hung on the wall in their living room. I have also benefited greatly from the help of my friends in Vancouver throughout the various stages of my project. Brent Epp, Trish Kel ly and Dale Smith offered careful attention to portions of the dissertation. Dorothy Barenscott extended help at the moment xix of need. Finally, my lasting gratitude goes to Marcie Powell for her time, reliability and professional skills with the editing of my text. If it were not for Marcie 's generous support, this whole exercise would have been so much harder for me. Lastly, my thanks and love go to my family in Poland: my Mom, my sister, Danusia, and my brother, Marek and their loved ones for their unfailing support and trust that were indeed my solace and solid ground in this long process. I dedicate this dissertation to my Mother and to memory of my Father. 1 INTRODUCT ION A city in the air. A city of glass, of asbestos. A city on springs. What is this - an eccentricity, a desire to be original, a trick? No, simply maximal expediency. In the air -in order to free the earth. Made of glass - in order to fill it with light. Asbestos - in order to relieve the structures' weight. On springs - in order to achieve balance. Boris Ignat'evich Arvatov, '"Oveshchestvlennaia Utopia" (The Materialized Utopia), 1923 Skyscrapers! ... A l l the crazy lust for growth which sprawls American towns flatly over the Western plains ... here finds expression in a vertical drive. From these great folios New York derives her grandeur, her strength, her aspect of Tomorrow. Roofless, crowned with terraces, they seem to be awaiting the rigid balloons, the helicopters, the winged men of the future. Paul Morand, New York, 1931 (written 1929) These comments by Arvatov and Morand demonstrate a fusion of the logical and the fantastic in perceiving an urban space during the 1920s in both Moscow and New York. Arvatov, in his promotion of Anton Mikhailovich Lavinskii ' s clearly Utopian design of 1921 for housing on springs explains the materials and structure of the highly imaginary project in the rather utilitarian terms distinctive of Left Front rhetoric, using a pragmatic, scientifically based argumentation.1 On the other hand, the Frenchman 1 B. A . (Boris Ignat'evich Arvatov), "Oveshchestvlennaia Utopia" (The Materialized Utopia), Lef 1, no.l (1923), 61-64. Arvatov, in his article, praised the project for a city of the future by Anton Mikhailovich Lavinskii. The text was illustrated with four schematic drawings: one of a city plan, one of a house, and two of a radio tower. Lavinskii's plan — suggesting a circular city of rotating houses of glass and asbestos mounted on springs — was regarded by Arvatov as Utopian. However, Arvatov refused to "laugh at" Lavinskii's ideas because they represented elements of actual future content. The importance given to the radio is indicative of the importance given to it by the Soviets. In 1920, Lenin pronounced radio as the "universal ear," the "newspaper without paper and 'without borders,'" in Vladimir Il'ich Lenin, Polnoe sobranie sochinenii (Collected Works) (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo politicheskoi literatury, 5 l h ed., 1965), v. 51: 130. Not surprisingly, then, for many members of the avant-garde (Naum Gabo, Gustav Gustavovich Klutsis, Aleksandr Mikhailovich Rodchenko, Aleksei Kapitanovich Gan, Velimir Khlebnikov) radio was a powerful visual and poetic image. Lef, as the avant-garde magazine, from its start, promoted designs that combined different means of transportation and communication as ideal vehicles of agitation (in the same 2 Morand, in his account of his voyages to the United States, attests to the growing fascination with aviation and aerial communication, by imbuing the already existing high-rises in New York with a futuristic aura, using poetic, metaphorical language rather than the more practical, technology-based terminology that was then permeating the American scene.2 Particularly striking is the contrasting tone used by these two authors. The Soviet theorist seeks to convince the reader of the Utopian concept of the new socialist city by applying an unemotional voice with technical, matter-of-fact explications. Although Arvatov admits that this constructivist urban blueprint by Lavinskii was likely unrealizable "under current technological conditions or any conditions," he nevertheless maintains that it constitutes a "materialized Utopia," since its author "was interested primarily in the social side of the venture - that is with the forms ofnovyi byt [new everyday l i fe]. " 3 Morand when describing New York, the place often volume in which Arvatov's text was published, there is also Rodchenko's design of a truck that is equipped with a film screen, Lefl, no.l [1923], 107). There exists a very good translation of Arvatov's text to English by Richard Sherwood in Form 10 (1969), 34-36; reprinted in Screen 12, no. 4 (Winter 1971/1972), 38-41; and in Stephen Bann, ed., The Tradition of Constructivism (New York: Viking Press, 1974), 85-89. 2 Paul Morand, New York, trans. Hamish Miles (London: William Heinemann, 1931). 3 Arvatov, op. cit., 64. Before 1923, in Russia, the phrase novyi byt (new way of life) signified a variety of practices that did not add up to a unified or coherent programme. The term itself entered public discourse in 1923 with the publication of Lev Davidovich Trotskii's Voprosy byta (Questions of Everyday Life, Moskva: Krasnaia Nov', 1923). Svetlana Boym has pointed out the opposition between byt and bytie in Russian culture. In pre-modern Russia, the word byt was a neutral term meaning "way of life" or "everyday life." The current, more negative meaning of byt, that is opposite of bytie (philosophically or spiritually meaningful existence), was attached to it at the end of the 19Ih century indicating "everyday material life." As a result, there was an understanding of a rift between these two terms. The revolutionary Marxist in Russia perceived the transcendence of byt not in spiritual terms but instead in ideological ones. The aim was a collective happiness in a Communist future in this world. Trotskii rejected the Russian tradition of ignoring byt in favour of higher spiritual, artistic or political concerns, and his book had impacted the 3 identified as the centre of capitalism and crass materialism, cites the material environment shaped by existing tall buildings that "do not scrape the sky" but "batter i t . " 4 However, while foreseeing the future of New York, Morand invokes a quasi-mystical language and avoids using any scientific, "know-how" terminology pertaining to the technology that would have allowed these colossal structures to be built, preferring instead to apply visionary and figurative articulations. Arvatov's and Morand's intriguing remarks about imagined and perceived urban spaces in the Soviet Union and the United States invite us to explore ways in which cities were represented in both countries during the 1920s. Indeed, the 1920s was a dynamic and fascinating time during which both milieus were engaged in the process of reinventing themselves, and their two major metropolises, Moscow and New York, played important roles in this course of events. Indeed, for both locales in the 1920s, the Soviet conception of the novyi byt (new everyday material life). For Trotskii, there was a necessity to totally reconstruct byt, that for him indicate the personal, the primitive, the immobile and stubborn {byt niepodvizhen i upriam), and the conservative. Accordingly, byt would lose these negative qualities if it was collectivized, rationalized and made dynamic following the social, technical and economic developments introduced under the Bolsheviks. The editors and authors of the avant-garde journal Lef{Levyi Front Iskusstv - Left Front of the Arts), in which Arvatov published his text, adhered primarily to the traditional Russian paradigm of understanding material byt as the enemy of higher goals. Arvatov on the other hand began to articulate a different, more material version of how byt might be transformed, not through the denial or evacuation of the material object world, but instead via its modification and intensification. See, Lev Trotskii, Problems of Everyday Life and Other Writings on Culture and Science (New York: Monad Press, 1973); Svetlana Boym, Common Places: Mythologies of Everyday Life in Russia (Cambridge, M A , and London: Harvard University Press, 1994); Christina Hilleboe Kiaer, "The Russian Constructivist "Object" and the Revolutionizing of Everyday Life, 1921-1929," (MS, Ph. D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1995); Irina Gutkin, The Cultural Origins ofthe Socialist Realist Aesthetic 1890-1934 (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1999), especially "The Struggle with Byt as a Problem of the 4 city became a site for a discourse about modernity. Moreover, to compare and contrast aspects of this process of reinvention in Moscow and in New York, as I have done in my thesis, is to present a rich and complex case study, allowing an insight into the ideological and cultural contest that was playing out between them and that was being acted out in the national as well international arena during the 1920s. Opposing each other across the ideological spectrum, the Soviet Union and the United States commenced an intense competition, not only to legitimize their specific ideological systems, but also to authorize their respective drives to supremacy. Cultural production was very much involved in this rivalry. In projecting themselves as leading strategic loci, they both generated the idea of a "New Wor ld " and constructed themselves as a model ground for modern life. At the same time, each centre was charged symbolically as a site of power — in Moscow, political power, in New York, financial power — and of the fabrication of desire, in which urban reorganization was a crucial component. The diverse rhetoric adapted to these ends, ranging from pragmatic to Utopian, offered a mode of operation that was to address issues of community and city by diversely accentuating the complex relations of human interaction, production and consumption. In the Soviet Union, the goal was collective, while in the USA, the emphasis was on the individual. Thus, urban space was perceived, respectively, more as a public domain controlled by Relationship between Art and Life," 81-106; Victor Buchli, An Archaeology of Socialism (Oxford [UK] and New York: Berg, 1999). 5 centrally administrated prerogatives in the former, 5 while in the latter, discussions were negotiated between private and civic values, and in planning between laissez-faire importance and efforts to give shape and unity to the city's heterogeneous and often conflicting functions. While the revolutionary regime in Soviet Russia was committed to industrialization and modern science as the protagonists of a new order, in the US, technology and technocratic management, alongside industrialization, were perceived as the source of qualitative change in social organization and of moral transformation. The horizon, both in the Soviet Union and in America, seemed to be open, promising and ready to be shaped and arranged anew. And the plans for reformulating the urban skyline in both milieus proliferated. In this study, at its broadest level, I concentrate on the visualization of the city 6 in its ideal form in Moscow and New York at the end of the 1920s. M y research examines 4 Morand, New York, op. cit., 45. 5 In 1922, it was established that city planning was to be just one aspect of the overall plan for the country as a whole. The task of central planning was given to the G O S P L A N (State Planning Commission), the agency entrusted with general planning on a national scale. See Kiri l l Nikolaevich Afanas'ev and Vigdariia Efraimovna Khazanova, eds., lz istorii sovetskoi arkhitektury 1917-1925 (From the History of Soviet Architecture, 1917-1925), (Moskva: Akademiia NaukCCCP, 1963), 18-19. 6 The subject of the visualization of architecture/city and architectural/city representation is complex and large. Topics range from the early stages of conception of specific buildings, structures and whole cities, through images created for publication, competition, exhibition, up to those that are done because they were commissioned or executed for the artist/architect's private enjoyment. For observations on the American milieu see, Helene Lipstadt, ed., The Experimental Tradition: Essays on the Competition in Architecture (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1989); for the Soviet competitions, see Catherine Cooke and Igor' Aleksandrovich Kazus', Soviet Architectural Competitions 1920s - 1930s (London: Phaidon Press, 1992); Catherine Cooke, "Mediating Creativity and Politics: Sixty Years of Architectural Competitions in Russia," in The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1992), 681-715; on the history of architectural rendering, see 6 two particular visions of future urban form. The first is by Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, a Soviet student of architecture, who in 1928 presented a diploma project called Gorod budushchego (City of the Future),7 and the other is by Hugh Ferriss, an American architectural renderer, who one year later, in 1929, published a book entitled The Metropolis of Tomorrow? What is at stake in my reexamination of these two Utopian visions is the forwarding of another interpretation that adds to existing material that deals with Soviet and American artistic production during the 1920s. My interest leads me to Werner Oechslin, "'Rendering' - The Representative and Expressive Function of Architectural Drawings," Daidalos 25 (September 15, 1987), 68-78; also Ada Louise Huxtable, "Architectural Drawings," in idem., Architecture Anyone? (New York: Random House, 1986), 272-283; on the complex relationships between drawings, photographs, prints, and depiction of architecture in different media on paper, in the context of the buildings, landscapes and cities they represent, see Eve Blau, Edward Kaufman, eds., Architecture and Its Image: Four Centuries of Architectural Representation, Works from the Collection ofthe Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, and Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1989); Beatriz Colomina, ed., Architectureproduction (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1988). Then, there are various theoretical perspectives on "representation" and the "real," i.e. between the cultural and the material realm. Hollis Clayson in her article "Materialist Art History and Its Points of Difficulty" {Art Bulletin L X X V I I , no. 3 [September 1995], 367-371), while fleshing out the problematics of such concepts as "real," "representation," and "context" (among others), defines the differences between Marxist and social art history. In both approaches, the concern is with the image and how it operates within a larger social world. Traditional Marxist methodology implies a critique of ideology and a grounding of art within the material conditions (social, political and economic) in which art is produced and received. Materialist art historians have been informed by the Marxist tradition and tend to operate on the assumption that the real is prior to culture. On the other hand, social art history considers a more ambiguous sphere of social relations and practice in which images can not be so easily situated; in effect art is interpreted as a less deterministic practice, often functioning in multiple and contradictory ways. 7 Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, "Gorod budushchego. Predposylki k rabotie: 'Gorod budushchego'" (City ofthe Future. Premise to the Project: 'City ofthe Future'), and "Gorod budushchego. Evolutsiia arkhitekturnykh printsipov v planirovkie gorodov i organizatsii zhilishcha: Ob"iasnenia k chertezham, risunkam i skhemam raboty" (City of the Future. Evolution of the Architectural Principles of City Planning and of Housing Organization. Explanations to the Project's Diagrams, Drawings and Plans). MS, Diploma project. Collection of A . V . Shchusev State Research Museum of Architecture, Moscow, R l a 11200/1-16 and R l a 11196/1-18. For translation of Krutikov's text to his diploma project, see Appendix below. 7 reevaluate these two projects according to issues and ideas residing outside of aesthetics and to disclose a politics of representation involved in their production. Hence, my work considers how artistic practice is interconnected with socio-political issues in albeit politically and culturally distinguishable centres. On this point, my own contribution to the established reading of the visual representation of the city in the Soviet Union and the United States is set to expand a comprehension and to bring into sharper focus the motivations underlying the seemingly idealised views of these two milieus during the 1920s. My goal is to interrogate Krutikov's and Ferriss's projects of the future city in a comparative manner within their specific historical contexts, by merging artistic production with the social and political realm. Appreciating the power of the imaginary and fascinated by the visions put forward by Krutikov and Ferriss, I set my attention on the debates and problematics that circulated in a larger public sphere and that were related to the notion of the "frontier." Only then can the sterile notions of cultural autonomy fade away, and only then can these two works be revealed as working beyond aesthetic categories as complicated sites engaged in tense intellectual discourses. There are a few reasons for my choice of these works, aside from the fact that both share the same subject matter, that of the imagined city of the future. One of them is 8 Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (New York: Yves Washburn, 1929). Facsimile of this book was published in New York by Princeton Architectural Press, 1986. 8 the fact that these works both represent so-called "paper architecture." 9 "Paper architecture" constitutes, in my opinion, a more compatible ground for analysis of these two distinct centres than a comparison of any constructed .works would allow. It offers the opportunity to circumnavigate the considerable disparity in economic situations and technology that affected the construction activities in both countries during the 1920s. Soviet Russia experienced economic conditions that limited its building processes. After the October Revolution of 1917, the Bolsheviks inherited under-developed industry, and the country's economy was further weakened by the C iv i l War of 1918-1921.10 Even though hopes and plans for a new life under communism were proclaimed with enthusiasm, large-scale projects were realized only rarely, and architecture continued to 9 The notion "paper architecture" in its broadest sense indicates any architectural representation on paper. This term is often used as equivalent to other categories, such as ideal, visionary, Utopian, unbuilt, or fantastic architecture, although each of them carries a different set of meanings. In general, however, all of them denote works that are characterized by one or all traits such as: perfect, speculative, imaginary, and/or theoretical. Throughout my dissertation, I apply all these terms interchangeably. See Irina Vladimirovna Kokkinaki, "Architecture on Paper. The Evolution of Dreams," Apollo 131 (January 1990), 14-17; Gennady Revzin, "Paper Architecture in the Age of the French Revolution," in Alia Efimova and Lev Manovich, trans, and eds., foreword Stephen Bann, Tekstura. Russian Essays on Visual Culture (Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 1993), 219-231 (Revzin suggests that the Soviet avant-garde architects are heirs to the Utopian projects of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux and Etienne-Louis Boullee); Christian W. Thomsen, Visionary Architecture: From Babylon to Virtual Reality (Munich, New York: Prestel, 1994); Alison Sky and Michelle Stone, Unbuilt America: Forgotten Architecture in the United States from Thomas Jefferson to the Space Age (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1976); George R. Collins, Visionary Drawings of Architecture and Planning: 20"' Century through the 1960s (New York: The Drawing Center, and Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1979); Ruth Eaton, Ideal Cities. Utopianism and the (Un)Built Environments (London: Thames and Hudson, 2001). 1 0 Before World War I, in the last years of the Tsarist regime in Russia, there existed some "pockets" of modernity in main cities within a vast, and actually still largely medieval, traditional building technology dominated by timber. The years of Civil War had caused havoc in industrial plants and factories across the Soviet Russia. In 1922-1923, the worst decimated of all industries were those of building materials. In 9 be plagued by aesthetic controversy, political pressures and material deficiencies throughout the revolutionary period. Due to these severe and various problems that riveted the Soviet milieu, propositions submitted by students - as, for example, in the case of Krutikov — and by a growing number of young professionals were treated with the same attention and in earnestness as those offered by established architects and urban planners. The shortage of specialists in these fields sped up the process of maturation among those who trained to take on a career in the newly established socialist state and heightened their expectations for taking on responsible, active roles in the anticipated developments. A t the same time, the USA, between the end of the First World War and the Wal l Street Crash in 1929, experienced an economic boom based on industrial development and financial accumulation, and the cityscape in New York was changed by the construction of skyscrapers, nascent highways and suburbs. These economic and technological differences led to extremely uneven results with regard to what was actually built in Moscow and New York. Due to these discrepancies, projects executed on paper which are restricted only by the architects' own licentia poetica, rather than by material or technological confines or the expectations of a commissioner, offer a more effect brick, cement, glass and steel were in very limited supply and nearly unobtainable. In addition, even skilled labour for felling and dressing timber was depressed in numbers. 10 compatible site for examination. Furthermore, "paper architecture" allows more imaginary, indeed, Utopian potential to be revealed. It is precisely this extreme inventiveness which enabled Krutikov and Ferriss to promote, on the one hand, residences hovering in the air and, on the other, skyscrapers that batter the firmament with densely massed and huge complexes reaching toward the sky, that prompted my fascination with their projects. The intrinsic features of "paper architecture," its visionary scope, lack of creative constraints and unlimited possibilities for imagination to soar — all of which Krutikov and Ferriss fully utilized - present a promising ground for an extended field of inquiry. More than built architecture, they invite an investigation of both architects' visualizations of urban form within their respective ideological frameworks, rather than strictly within the parameters of the stylistic, material and technological status quo of the architectural enterprise. My interest leads me to reevaluate Krutikov's and Ferriss's projects and the ways in which the architects interacted with their publics, to disclose a politics of representation that operates as much via the material art object as through the discourses in which it is positioned.11 Hence, I want to discover the circumstances that prompted these two designers to suggest such intriguing imaginary concepts of the ideal city. Evidently their 1 1 According to Thomas Crow, to create a contextual framework is to build linkages "between art objects and contiguous, intermediate zones of social practice that are not integral to the artist's professional culture." Idem, "Codes of Silence: Historical Interpretation and the Art of Watteau," Representations no. 12 (Fall 1985), 4. Quoted in Clayson, op. cit., 367. 11 visions announced novel ways to rethink the form of a modern city, but why is the improbable concept of " f l y i ng " such an important part of Krutikov 's gorod, and why does Ferriss's metropolis evoke mountainous formations? What were the conditions at play at the end of the 1920s that prompted both architects to propose such eccentric visions? Some explanations are to be found in the time period in which these visions were produced and when they entered the public domain. Krutikov worked on Gorod budushchego and Ferriss devised The Metropolis of Tomorrow during the 1920s, by immersing themselves in discourses related to the city and its form and to architecture and its function that permeated the professional circles in Moscow and New York, respectively, at that time. Moreover, Krutikov's professional debut in 1928 coincided with the Communist Party's adoption of Stalin's First Five-Year-Plan (October 1928 -December 1932), while Ferriss's publication concurred with the Wal l Street Crash inl929. 1 2 Hence both projects are not only representative of the culmination of the architectural reformulation discussed in Moscow and New York during the 1920s, but also their creation and submission to the public happened at a time of profound and far-reaching changes in broader social, economic, political and cultural realms. The year 1928 /1929 is an important caesura in the history of the Soviet Union and the USA. In the 1 2 Records of the exact date when this book was published have been lost; however, the first press reviews of Ferriss's work began to appear in December 1929. 12 Soviet Union, a growing tension was brought about by a political detour enforced by the Party under Stalin, the curtailing of diverse, post-Revolutionary opinions by an increasingly totalitarian voice. 1 3 In the United States, the anxiety caused by the disappearance of the Victorian/Puritan/Frontier past ran deeply next to the excitement brought by the more moderate values of the "Jazz Age. " 1 4 It was also a time when the American economic boom of the "roaring '20s" had suddenly run its course with the stock market crash of Black Thursday, October 24 t h, 1929. Consequently, during their work on the propositions of the future city, Krutikov and Ferriss were in the thick of professional debates, while at the same time they 1 3 Since Stalin gained power, after Lenin's death in 1924, he championed "socialism in one country" (the concept directly opposed to Lev Trotskii's "permanent revolution"). Between 1925 and 1928, there were measures adopted that led in politics to centralization and bureaucratization, with growing attacks on the Left Opposition and Trotskii. In the economy, the call was industrialization and collectivization. In the realm of architecture and urban planning, the dominance of modernism was steadily replaced, via the direct demand of beaurocratic clients that led to a more historicist monumentality that eventually emerged during the 1930s as Socialist Realism. However, it should be recognized that even at the height of Stalin's power, there was never a single monolithic art or architectural style, as S. Frederick Starr stated: "At no point between 1917 and 1937 did there exist in Soviet Russia a single 'typical' architect or architecture." Idem, Melnikov: Solo Architect in a Mass Society (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), 9. For the great variety of artistic practice see Brandon Taylor, Art and Literature Under the Bolsheviks, vol. 1: The Crisis of Renewal 1917-1924, vol. 2: Authority and Revolution 1924-1932 (London: Pluto Press, 1991). See also Edward Hallett Carr, Socialism in One Country, 1924-1926, 3 vols. (London: Macmillan, 1958); Vladimir Brovkin, Russia After Lenin: Politics, Culture and Society, 1921-1929 (London and New York: Routledge, 1998); Hugh D. Hudson, Jr., The Stalinization of Soviet Architecture, 1917-1937 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994). 1 4 This label, coined by F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1922, was supposed to indicate a decade long "party" during which Americans indulged in an orgy of irresponsible self-indulgence. However, in 1929, under the reality check of the stock market crash, the author admitted that the "Jazz Age" concept applied only to the "upper tenth of a nation." See, Scott Fitzgerald, "Echoes of the Jazz Age," in Malcolm Cowley and Robert Cowley, Fitzgerald and the Jazz Age (New York: Scribner, 1966), 183. See also Manfredo Tafuri, "The New Babylon: The 'Yellow Giants' and the Myth of Americanism (Expressionism, Jazz Style, Skyscrapers, 1913-30," in idem, The Sphere and the Labyrinth. Avant-Gardes and Architecture from 13 witnessed shifts and nascent cracks in the socio-political sphere that caused palpable tensions in both cities. It is at this juncture that my own work intervenes. I am interested in resituating Krutikov and Ferriss vis-a-vis debates concerning the "frontier," 1 5 a contentious notion of the 1920s in Moscow and in New York. This concept operated on ideas related to " t ime" and "space," two major elements of the political imaginary in both the Soviet Union and the United States.16 As Susan Buck-Morss has pointed out, these Piranesi to the 1970s, trans. Pallegrino d'Acierno and Robert Canolly (Cambridge, M A , London: MIT Press, 1987 [1978]), 171-189. 1 5 This term, "frontier," has several different meanings. In English usage it means the border between two countries. More broadly, it can also be used to designate the zone where two qualitatively varied spaces meet and overlap. Finally, the frontier can denote the outer limit, the edge of our experience, beyond which lies the wild and unknown. Walter Prescott Webb points out a different usage of the term "frontier" in the United States distinct from that prevalent in Europe, where the "frontier" designates the boundary between two nations and is represented on the map as a thin line. Instead, in the United States, the word does not indicate the nation's limit at the physical edge of the country, but rather an area that is located within, and that invites an entrance, an organic entity that "lives, moves geographically, and eventually dies." Walter Prescott Webb, The Great Frontier (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964 [1951]), 2-8. The term "frontier" is not, however, an indigenous one to Russia, hence, there is no exact equivalent in the modern Russian language to the term "frontier." The traditional Russian term for frontier was ukraina (an outer edge, a periphery), but this went increasingly out of use in the late 19th century as it took on national meaning. It might also indicate prostor (a wide, borderless land or space, which also could mean liberty), pogranichie (a bordered land), periferiia (literally translated to English as periphery), granitsa (with variations pogranichnaia zona or pogranichnyi raiori), or rubezh. The latter is used in the arts, culture, and science. In recent years, however, a few Russian scholars have started to use the term frontir borrowed from English. For the terminology and meaning of a "frontier" see, John Robert Victor Prescott, Boundaries and Frontiers (London: Croom Helm, 1978); Malcolm Anderson, Frontiers. Territory and State Formation in the Modern World (Maiden, M A : Polity Press, 1996); Richard White and Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Frontier in American Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); Louis Marin, "Frontiers of Utopia: Past and Present," Critical Inquiry (Spring 1993), 397-420. For information on the many meanings of the term "frontier" in the Russian language, I am grateful to respondents to my query posted via the internet to H-Russia in 2002, especially Eva-Maria Stolberg, Nick Baron, Brian J. Boeck, Roger Chapman, and Dmitrii Sidorov. 1 6 Space and time are indeed basic ontological categories crossing over national and political divides. There is an extensive literature exploring the meaning and function of these concepts in social life, with links to cultural, economic and political processes. See, for example, Daniel Bell, The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Marshall Berman, All That Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity (New York: Penguin Books, 1988 [1982]); Stephen Kern, The Culture of Time two ideas were the most constitutive parts of the political vision in both countries. 1 7 For communism, the major feature of the political imaginary was "time," largely understood via the process of class warfare. Conversely, progress for capitalist/democratic states was (is) understood spatially through the expansion of the "free world. " While the capitalist/democratic state has preferred national identity, the communist state favoured class, since nations were conceived to be in transition and just a temporary phase to be overcome in the future. The frontier problematics that reverberated in the Soviet and American milieus at the time when Krutikov and Ferriss worked actively on their projects, indeed encapsulated the notions of " t ime" and "space," the two crucial components of the political imaginary. On that account, the concept of the "frontier" is my point of reference, a tool or an interpretative key that I use to unpack Krutikov 's and Ferriss's representation of imaginary cities. The crucial fact remains, however, that Krutikov and Ferriss emanated their visions from very divergent political and cultural positions, which caused their projects to offer distinct and different results. Nonetheless, despite these variances, gorod budushchego and the metropolis of tomorrow reveal a comparable adoption of "frontier" rhetoric. Krutikov and Ferriss, in their visions of the future city, joined not only the ranks and Space, 1880-1918 (Cambridge, M A : Harvard University Press, 1983); Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (Durham: Duke University Press, 1994 [1991]); David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity. An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change (Cambridge, M A , Oxford, U K : Blackwell, 1997 [1990]). 15 of architects and urban planners who laboured on urban solutions, but moreover, they both took part in the ideological discourses that were concerned with a spatial quest that related to the historical processes of their respective "new worlds." I want to emphasize in my work that in a very real sense Moscow and New York, each in its unique way, constituted a stage for playing out the highly charged tensions that link a complex past to a perplexing present, and to a promising and unknown future. Post-Revolutionary Russia was struggling with the past as it shaped a new political and social system, and the United States was gaining momentum in domination over the "o ld continent" after 1918. A n understanding of this Utopian moment of possibilities and ambivalence demonstrated by Krutikov and Ferriss is established through Louis Marin 's interpretation of Utopia. Marin names the limit, the gap between two frontiers or two continents, the Old and the New Worlds, and elaborates on two contrasting notions of Utopia — ou-topia (no-place) and eu-topia (good place) — in a neutral realm of difference, ambivalence and tension. 1 8 This was exactly the place in which Krutikov 's and Ferriss's visions of the city of the future were situated. In my analysis of their works, I argue that while both architects were located in a "New World," albeit differently defined, both were working at a critical juncture of drastic changes and pressures that prompted them to 1 7 Susan Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe. The Passing of Mass Utopia in East and West (Cambridge, M A , and London: MIT Press, 2000). 1 8 Louis Marin, Utopics: Spatial Play, trans. Robert A . Vollrath (Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and London: Humanities Press; Macmillan, 1984 [1973]); idem, "Frontiers of Utopia: Past and Present," op. cit. See also 16 actually look backward when prophesying the future city, and to utilize the "frontier" rhetoric in their projects. The application of the ideas associated with "frontier" phenomena to the analysis of the development of cities and to the interpretation of urban space is a well-established method, particularly when dealing with the American scene. 1 9 Especially in late 20 t h century Western literature, scholars use the "frontier" concept when writing about American architecture. Giorgio Ciucci , for example, in evaluating Broadacres City by Frank L loyd Wright, has examined the myth ofthe frontier, together with various agrarian movements, as factors in the architect's effort to recover the "humanistic" aspirations of architecture.2 0 Thomas A . P. van Leeuwen, addressing the mythical dimensions connected with high-rises in the United States, has pondered the connection between the American "frontier" idea and the skyscraper.2 1 Rem Koolhaas has pointed out that "only the Skyscraper offers business the wide-open spaces of a man-made W i l d Fredrick Jameson, "Of Islands and Trenches: Naturalization and the Production of Utopian Discourse," Diacritics (June 1977), 2-21. 1 9 See John W. Reps, Cities ofthe American West. A History of Frontier Urban Planning (Princeton University Press, 1979); idem., Town Planning in Frontier America (Columbia and London: University of Missouri Press, 1980); David Hamer, New Towns in the New World. Images and Perceptions ofthe Nineteenth-Century Urban Frontier (New York: Columbia University Press, 1990). 2 0 Giorgio Ciucci, "The City in Agrarian Ideology of Frank Lloyd Wright: Origins and Development of Broadacres," in Giorgio Ciucci, Francesco Dal Co, Mario Manieri-Elia, Manfredo Tafuri, The American City. From the Civil War to the New Deal (1973), trans. Barbara Luigi La Penta (Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1979), 293-387. On Wright's ideology of the "wilderness" and the anti-city, see Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., "Frank Lloyd Wright: The Eleventh Decade," Architectural Forum C X X X , no. 5 (Junel969), 173-183; Rayner Banham "The Wilderness Years of Frank Lloyd Wright," Journal ofthe Royal Institute of British Architects 76, no. 12 (December 1969), 512-518. West, a frontier in the sky. Hubert Damisch, as well, widely engaged the frontier concept while analyzing the American cultural scene.23 Likewise Aaron Betsky, when interpreting skyscrapers in the United States, has brought up the notions of lost horizons and vertical l imits. 2 4 However, while all these authors do apply the idea of "frontier" to the problematics of architecture and architectural representation, they use it in a figurative manner, and they limit this framework to the American milieu exclusively. What is missing in the existing literature devoted to this subject is a broader scope, a comparative study of the "frontier" concept, especially its application to both the American and the Soviet urban constructs.2 5 Why, for example, did Krutikov and Ferriss both attempt to reach skyward for new geographical/spatial domains, even proposing structures "floating in orbit"? The modified skyscraper was, to paraphrase Diana Agrest, racing upward in pursuit of its limits, while having been incorporated into a newly 1 Thomas A . P. van Leeuwen, The Skyward Trend of Thought. The Metaphysics of the American Skyscraper (Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1988). 2 2 Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York, A Retroactive Manifesto for Manhattan (New York: Monacelli Press, 1994), 87. 2 3 Hubert Damisch, Skyline. The Narcissistic City (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000); particularly part two: "America as Scene," 71-149. 2 4 Aaron Betsky, "Lost Horizons. The Birth and Death of the Skyscraper," Architectural Design 65, no. 718 (1995), 8-15. 2 5 The use of the frontier concept in conducting a comparative approach is well-developed in history and social sciences producing debates and extensive literature. Informed by this method, I attempt to use the frontier model in interpretation of visual material dealing with projected images of the city in two different socio-political realms, the Soviet Union and the United States at the end of 1920s. For a comparative analysis of frontier, see William W. Savage, Jr., and Stephen I. Thompson, "The Comparative Study of the Frontier: An Introduction," in David Harry Miller and Jerome O. Steffen, eds., The Frontier. Comparative Studies (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1977-1979), v. 2: 3-24. 18 expanding territory, to dare and to define the old and new "frontiers." In my thesis, I analyze this phenomenon, this new frontier, which played such a central role in Krutikov's and Ferriss's works. What is also at stake here is a reconsideration of these two highly Utopian propositions now, when, as has been proclaimed, Utopia has run its course as much in the socio-political realm as in art, for which an epitaph assures us that "utopia is truly dead." 2 7 To turn our attention back to the moment of historical circumstances addressed in my work, when dreams were regarded in the Soviet Union and in the United States to still be of high currency, does not mean to exhort a resuscitation of this "corpse." Instead, by reviewing the early stages of the competition between the Soviet Union and the US — when both countries declared themselves as sites for modern and advanced life by envisioning a mass society beyond material scarcity, and during which Krutikov and Ferriss programmed their visions of the future city — we may better understand the 2 6 Diana I. Agrest, "Architectural Anagrams: the Symbolic Performance of Skyscrapers," Oppositions 11, (Winter 1977), 26-51. 2 7 There exists a vast literature discussing the demise of socio-political Utopia often linked to the passing of many socialist states in Central and Eastern Europe, and to the waning popularity of Marxism. However, Terry Eagleton, in his reviews of publications that claim that Marxism is over suggests that "nothing testifies more to the life left in Marxism than the flurry of works dissecting its demise." Idem, "In the same boat?" Radical Philosophy 82 (March/April 1997), 37-40. On the crisis of Utopia in the arts, see Yves Michaud, "The End of the Utopia of Art," in Jean-Marie Schaeffer, Witte de With, eds., Think Art. Theory and Practice in the Art of Today (Rotterdam: Center for Contemporary Art, 1998), 131-156; Fredric Jameson, et al., Utopia Post Utopia: Configurations of Nature and Culture in Recent Sculpture and Photography (Boston: The Institute of Contemporary Art, Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1988). I emphasize here the assumption brought up by scholars on their observations that Utopia lost its attraction and power of urgency. There certainly exists a concurrent yet opposing thought tradition of anti-utopian and dystopian discourses; however, it falls outside the scope of my inquiry. 19 shortcomings that led to the aforementioned demise of Utopia. It is through recreating the past that we can gain a better comprehension of alternative modes of struggle, albeit through dreaming that failed. My own investigation of Krutiov 's and Ferriss's projects is informed by Susan Buck-Morss's analysis of Utopian thinking. In her study, she has traced the hopes and fantasies that prevailed and were shared during the first half of the twentieth century across national and political divides, only to be jettisoned, at the eclipse of the century (and millennium), in favour of mass consumerism and political cynicism. 2 8 In Buck-Morss's opinion, the socialist imagination particularly caused its own collapse by too literally mimicking capitalist dreams. Were there any shared and common traits between Krutikov's gorod budushchego and Ferriss's metropolis of tomorrow? By examining these two examples of the envisioned future metropolis of the 1920s, I want to demonstrate how relationships between the architect, the city, and its representation in an ideal form were generated by socio-political circumstances and specific ideologies in Moscow and in New York. The post-Revolutionary Soviet environment is generally understood as a synonym for highly politicized conditions in all activities, including artistic production. Therefore, to view Krutikov's project through this prism seems to be expected and unsurprising. Yet, what at times has been overlooked is the complex, intricate and volatile political Soviet scene riveted by strong factions and 20 constant fights during the 1920s. On the other hand, to treat Ferriss's work as being wrapped up in politics and resonating with ideological overtones goes beyond the prevailing approach when dealing with artistic production during the 1920s in the United States in general, 2 9 and with Ferriss and his oeuvre in particular. For example, Carol Wil l is, "the expert" on Ferriss, when writing about three "Utopian" American architects of the 1920s, Harvey Wiley Corbett, Hugh Ferriss and Raymond Hood, has asserted that: These American visionaries were not radicals or ideologues; their writings contained no explicit polemics, like those of the Bauhaus or the Russian Constructivists. Their philosophy can be thought of as a sort of "passive modernism," as opposed to the "active modernism" of such avant-garde Europeans as Le Corbusier, who offered the ultimatum "architecture or revolution." 3 0 To regard Le Corbusier as a subversive offering radical revolutionary demands is at best a passive if not a naive reading of the Swiss architect's political stance. At the same time to label the German and Soviet avant-garde artists as "ideologues" is to infuse derogatory meaning into revolutionary ideas. Apparently Wi l l i s herself falls victim to the satirical paradigm: "I have a social philosophy; you have political opinions; he has an 2 8 Buck-Morss, Dreamworld and Catastrophe, op. cit. 2 9 Symptomatic of this "sterile" consideration is, for example, Deborah Frances Pokinski, who in her text on modern American architecture, has named one of the chapters "Differing Concepts of Modern Architecture: American 'Style' and European 'Ideology,'" in idem, The Development of the American Modern Style (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1984 [1982]), 9-17. 3 0 Carol Willis, "Skyscraper Utopias: Visionary Urbanism in the 1920s," in Joseph J. Corn, ed., Imagining Tomorrow. History, Technology, and the American Future (Cambridge, M A , London: MIT Press, 1986), 164-187. 21 ideology." 3 1 What is, however, most striking in W i l l i s ' approach is her implicit assumption that politics only involve radicals and revolutionaries. This lack of interest in evaluating Ferriss's oeuvre within a broader socio-political context indeed prevails in existing criticism. A major exception to this neglect has been the scholarship of Lewis Mumford and Manfredo Tafuri. Mumford, an American critic of architecture and urban planning, was a liberal democrat with a voice stemming from his bent towards decentralization and communalism. 3 2 Mumford, an extremely influential writer on cities, in his commentaries persistently alluded to the socio-political ramifications of urbanism. Hence, throughout his career, while advocating limited urban growth combined with development of new communities in the hinterland and passionately opposing the skyscraper, he challenged Ferriss's works for being socially regressive and politically conservative. 3 3 A still harsher response to Ferriss's artistic 3 1 Quoted by Clifford Geertz, "Ideology as Cultural System" in idem, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (New York: Basic Books, 1973), 194. 3 2 Mumford's promotion of cummunalism was to such an extent that in his Sticks and Stones. A Study of American Architecture and Civilization of 1924, he idealized medieval towns and suggested them as the modus operandi for contemporary America. Admiring the New England practice of establishing satellite communities, he urged architects and city planners to utilize medieval tradition for more than stylistic models: "we must recover the interests, the standards, the institutions that gave to the villages and buildings of early times their appropriate shapes" (30-31). For a severe critique of Mumford's naive conception of the Middle Ages, see Meyer Schapiro, "Looking Forward to Looking Backward," Partisan Review 8 (July 1983), 12-24. Schapiro, in his review of Mumford's The Culture of Cities (New York: Harcourt and Brace, 1938), harshly criticized Mumford for his political views, particularly those regarding class structure. As a Marxist, Schapiro disliked Mumford's social liberalism, which fell somewhat left of the New Deal but too short of Shapiro's political and cultural radicalism. 3 3 To analyze the ideological positions of Ferriss, as well as his adversaries and supporters, is a great but rather difficult task. Any information can be deduced from mostly implied inclinations and sympathies, instead of from clear explications and pronouncements. Mumford, for example, known for his social 22 production is demonstrated by Tafuri, a Marxist Italian critic of architecture and urbanism. Tafuri, while scrutinizing the capitalist development of the American urban structure, repudiated Ferriss's concept ofthe future city as being "an updated version of the classic precapitalist Utopia, in this case with a theosophical f lavor." 3 4 Typically, however, Ferriss's oeuvre is interpreted in American scholarship solely within the limits of two disciplines, architecture and urbanism, that are represented as sealed domains, closed off from social and political concerns. Thus Ferriss's name liberalism and left of centre leanings, defended the RPAA' s (Regional Planning Association of America, see Chapter One below) political connections by underlining the fact that the organization had never identified itself with any political party. The fact was, however, that the members of the group were involved politically through their contacts with various public institutions and specific government agencies. Thus, Stuart Chase, the R P A A ' s economist, clearly characterized the group's political orientation: "We were mildly socialist, though not all communist; liberal but willing to abandon large areas of free market in favor of a planned economy." Quoted in Carl Sussman, ed., Planning the Fourth Migration: The Neglected Vision ofthe Regional Planning Association of America (Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1976), 23. Meyer Schapiro captured Mumford's ambiguous political stance: "Nothing is more characteristic of Mumford as a social thinker than his general aversion from politics and his unclarity about the nature of the state. The mythical aggregate to which he constantly appeals, the undifferentiated we's and our's of his tumescent proclamations, are his alternative to class groupings." Meyer Schapiro, "Looking Forward to Looking Backward," op. cit., 19. The same difficulties in identifying specific political and ideological stances can be said of Ferriss and many other individuals who expressed opinions on his work. In the following chapters, I review the professional exchange between Ferriss and Mumford. For a discussion of Mumford's career and his ideological position, see Roy Lubove, Community Planning in the 1920s: The Contribution ofthe Regional Planning Association of America (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1963); Robert Wojtowicz, Lewis Mumford and American Modernism. Eutopian Theories for Architecture and Urban Planning (Cambridge: University Press, 1998); Casey Blake, "The Perils of Personality: Lewis Mumford and Politics After Liberalism," in Thomas P. Hughes and Agatha C. Hughes, eds., Lewis Mumford. Public Intellectual (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990), 283-300. 3 4 Manfredo Tafuri, "The Disenchanted Mountain: The Skyscraper and the City," in Giorgio Ciucci, Francesco Dal Co, Mario Manieri-Elia, Manfredo Tafuri, The American City. From the Civil War to the New Deal, trans. Barbara Luigia La Penta (Cambridge, M A : MIT Press, 1979 [1973]), 447-451. Tafuri throughout his various texts, uses Ferriss's The Metropolis of Tomorrow, and his specific renderings, as symptomatic of declining architectural tendencies in Manhattan during the 1920s, i.e. boom in tertiary skyscraper structures that led to congestion. See idem, "The New Babylon: The 'Yellow Giants' and the Myth of Americanism (Expressionism, Jazz Style, Skyscrapers, 1913-30)," op cit., 179. 23 appears and his works are addressed in publications when authors are surveying American architecture and urbanism, or when they are concerned with issues related to a fantastic urban vision or the artistic rendering of architecture. 3 5 There are, nonetheless, some scholars who deal with his works, especially with The Metropolis of Tomorrow, with much greater attention, though missing the inclusion of other intellectual factors that go beyond artistic practice. 3 6 The general literature on Krutikov, to no surprise, is more extensive in Russian than in English. Yet there is only one text, by Selim Omarovich Khan-Magomedov, that is exclusively devoted to Krutikov 's diploma project. 3 7 The remaining scholarship that is published both in Russian and in English mentions Krutikov and his gorod budushchego, usually in the larger context of Soviet architecture and/or urban planning. 3 8 In Western William H. Jordy, American Buildings and Their Architects, vol. 4: The Impact of European Modernism in the Mid-Twentieth Century (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1976), 65-67; Koolhaas, Delirious New York, op. cit., 110-119; van Leeuwen, The Skyward Trend of Thought, op. cit.\ William J. R. Curtis, Modern Architecture Since 1900 (London: Phaidon Press, 1996 [1982]), 225-226; Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Gilmartin, Thomas Mellins et al., New York 1930. Architecture and Urbanism between the Two World Wars (New York: Rizzoli, 1987). For the bibliography on Ferriss (up to 1987), see Lamia Doumato, Hugh Ferriss: A Bibliography (Monticello: Vance Bibliographies, 1987). 3 6 For the most extensive analysis of Ferriss's book, see Carol Willis, "Drawing Towards Metropolis," in Hugh Ferriss, The Metropolis of Tomorrow (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1986), 148-184; Jean Ferriss Leich, with an essay by Paul Goldberger, and a foreword by Adolf Placzek, Architectural Visions. The Drawings of Hugh Ferriss (New York: Whitney Library of Design, 1980); Eduardo Subirats, La transfiguracion de la noche (La Utopia arquitectonica de Hugh Ferriss) (Malaga: Colegio de Arquitectos, 1992). 3 7 Selim Omarovich Khan-Magomedov, "Proekt 'letaiushchego goroda'," (Project of a "Flying City'") in Dekorativnoe isskustvo (Decorative Arts) no.l (1973), 30-35. 3 8 Viktor Kalmykov, "Goroda v vozdukhe," (Cities in the Air) Arkhitektura v CCCP (Architecture in USSR) no. 6 (1973), 58-60 (in this text Krutikov's images are illustrated as rendered in drawings by V . Simbirtzev); Mikhail Grigor'evich Barkhin, Arkhitektura i gorod. Problemy raivitiia sovetskogo zodchestva (Architecture and the City. Evolution of the Soviet Architecture) (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo Nauka, 24 publications, notably in the catalogues to various exhibitions, selected images of Krutikov's projects are represented as the "staple" of Utopian trends in Soviet architecture.39 Unfortunately, because Krutikov's project is relatively little known in the Western milieu, some publications made mistakes when representing the visual parts of Krutikov's diploma project, particularly when presenting his illustrations of the future There are, finally, numerous and extensive studies of Soviet and American architecture, histories of their cities and urban planning. More specifically, scholars have written synthetic overviews or detailed studies of specific movements, trends and individuals who were active in both milieus. Among them are publications that diligently bring together collected information and rich primary source material, making accessible a vast range of data that would otherwise be difficult to obtain. Such works have 1979), 34-37; Khan-Magomedov, Arkhitektura sovetskogo avangarda. Kniga pervaia: Problemy formoobrazovania. Mastera i techenia (Architecture of the Soviet Avant-Garde. First Volume: Problems of Form-Creation. Artists and Teaching) (Moskva: Stroizdat', 1996), 307-312; Khan-Magomedov, Pioneers of Soviet Architecture. The Search for New Solutions in the 1920s and 1930s, trans. Alexander Lieven (New York: Rizzoli, 1987 [1983]), 282-283; Khan-Magomedov, VKhUTEMAS, 1920-1930, 2 vols. (Moskva: Izdatel'stvo Lad'ia, 2000); Catherine Cooke, "Images in Context," in Architectural Drawings of the Russian Avant-Garde (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1990), 34; Igor' Aleksandrovich Kazus', "The Idea of Cosmic Architecture and the Russian Avant-garde of the Early Twentieth Century", in Jean Clair, ed., Cosmos. From Romanticism to the Avant-Garde (Montreal: Museum of Fine Arts, 1999), 194-198. 3 9 Richard Andrews, Milena Kalinovska, et al., Art Into Life. Russian Constructivism, 1914-1932 (New York: Rizzoli, 1990), 203. 4 0 Hence, for example, one of Krutikov's dom-komuna is shown up-side-down: in Elizabeth Klosty Beaujour, "Architectural Discourse and Early Soviet Literature," Journal ofthe History of Ideas 44, no. 3 (July 1983), 477-495 (ill. p. 481); or the identification of particular panels is not correctly carried on: in The Great Utopia: The Russian and Soviet Avant-Garde, 1915-1932 (New York: Solomon R. Guggenheim 25 immense merit because they have contributed a great deal to our knowledge of Soviet and American architecture and urbanism. Indeed, these works have served as a point of departure for my own work. Yet some important questions have not been considered and remain to be explored. I perceive that my own contribution can be made by constructing a much more comprehensive context within which to analyze the work of these two visionary architects. Therefore, my method in approaching Krutikov's and Ferriss's envisioned cities offers a perspective other than those traditionally adopted. A s I approached the primary documents and secondary materials that relate to their work, I opened up my investigation to include a much wider range of relevant sources than have heretofore been used. Furthermore, I have compared the Soviet and American urban visions which have often been studied separately and in isolation from historical circumstances. 4 11 am convinced that this investigation can provide a new insight into the Museum, 1992), Plate 689-690; and again, two of Krutikov's dwelling types are misrepresented by one being shown up-side-down while the other is turned left to right: in Eaton, Ideal Cities, op. cit., 194. 4 1 Some of the scholars who do compare these two centres are Erich Mendelsohn, Russland, Europa, Amerika, ein Architektonischer Querschnitt (Berlin: Rudolf Mosse Buchverlag, 1929); Anatole Kopp, "Foreign Architects in the Soviet Union During the First Two Five-Year Plans," in Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Architecture and the New Urban Environment: Western Influences on Modernism in Russia and the USSR (Washington, D. C : 1988), 18-50; William C. Brumfield, "Russian Perception of American Architecture, 1870-1917," in Woodrow Wilson, Architecture and the New Urban Environment, op. cit., 51-70; Hal Foster, "Some Uses and Abuses of Russian Constructivism," in Andrews, Kalinovska, et al., Art into Life, op. cit., 240-253; Jean-Louis Cohen, "America, a Soviet Ideal," Architectural Association Files 5 (January 1984), 33-40; Jean-Louis Cohen, "L'Oncle Sam au Pays des Soviets. Le temps des avant-gardes," in Jean-Louis Cohen and Hubert Damisch, Americanisme et modernite, Videal americain dans Varchitecture et I'urbanisme (Paris: Flammarion, 1993), 402-435; Jean-Louis Cohen, Scenes of the World to Come: European Architecture and the American Challenge, 1893-1960 (Paris: Flammarion, and Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1995); Jean-Louis Cohen, "Impossible Order: Strategies and Shapes of Metropolitan Architecture," in Jean Clair, et al, The 1920s: 26 complex modes of operation utilized by Krutikov and Ferrsiss, who, wishing to programme a new social equilibrium, I argue, imposed "frontier" rhetoric onto envisioned urban structures. In my work, I address the questions of how and why Ferriss and Krutikov employ the rhetoric of the "new frontier" in their critical narrative of the future city. I interpret the social and political factors associated with this phenomenon that both architects found so useful in elaborating their urban visions. Of special interest here is how the imagined future city's critical contribution to the dominant discourse on urban planning, fused with the planning of the new limits, reaches beyond strict city boundaries. By looking at how each of these two architects operated within a certain set of social and philosophical circumstances, I hope to provide a better understanding of the larger issues of artistic practice and ideological choices that each of them made as they pursued their individual interests. Their professional activities revolved in very diverse environments that manifested at the same time comparable linkage to moments of tension and fracture that Age ofthe Metropolis (Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1991), 63-92; Kendall A. Bailes, "The American Connection: Ideology and the Transfer of American Technology to the Soviet Union, 1917-1941," Society for Comparative Study of Society and History (1981), 421-448; Virginia Hagelstein Marquardt, "Louis Lozowick: An American's Assimilation of Russian Avant-Garde Art of the 1920s," in Gail Harrison Roman and Virginia Hagelstein Marquardt, eds., The Avant-Garde Frontier: Russia Meets the West, 1910-1930 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1992); Maurice Tuchman, "The Russian Avant-Garde and the Contemporary Artist," in Stephanie Barron and Maurice Tuchman, eds., The Avant-Garde in Russia, 1910-1930: New Perspectives (Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Cambridge, M A , and London: MIT Press, 1980), 118-121; Gail Harrison Roman, "Chronologies of European Exhibitions, United States Exhibitions, Publications, Special Events," in Barron and Tuchman, eds., The Avant-Garde in Russia, 1910-1930, op. cit., 272-285. 27 revealed shifts of power relations and unearthed vested interests in socio-political domains. Throughout my thesis, I have presented my research and my findings in a chronological order. Thus Krutikov, who defended his diploma project in 1928, is introduced first, followed by Ferriss, with his book published in 1929. Similarly, when dealing with the architects' milieu, I have followed the same organization; thus Moscow precedes New York. Each chapter focuses on specific issues. In the first chapter, I begin by presenting an overview of Moscow and New York as sites of Krutikov and Ferriss's professional activities, viewing them as two major centres beset by urban problems and bustling with strategies and solutions — at times only on paper — to ameliorate those ills. Elaboration of these issues creates a context for the energized interventions conducted by Krutikov and Ferriss in their projects. In the second and third chapters, I examine Krutikov's Gorod budushchego, and Ferriss's The Metropolis of Tomorrow, respectively. When analyzing their propositions, in each case, I identify and interpret the content, the layout and the medium, as a point of departure for presenting my argument in chapters four and five, which focus on the close relationship that existed between cities of tomorrow, as imagined by these two architects, and the socio-political issues that relate to the "frontier" phenomenon. Overall, at the heart of my project is an exploration of the social and political factors that impinge on the production of art, not always in an overtly pervasive way; but 28 rather we may appreciate through an explication of these two projects that art making is conditioned in a complex manner, by external ideological forces that are expressed aesthetically. It is precisely because of this that projects that are seemingly as dissimilar as Krutikov's gorod budushchego and Ferriss's metropolis of tomorrow may not only be usefully compared, one with the other, but indeed that this comparison presents an extremely compelling case study. At this particular moment, when the conditions of Utopia are regarded as doomed, or perhaps because of that, the promotion of fantastic, indeed Utopian, concepts maintains a powerful hold on the imagination. Finally, a short note on transliteration. There is no easy solution to the problem of transliterating Russian names and words into English. For the sake of consistency, I have used the system of transliteration employed by the Library of Congress. Hence, I have retained the Russian soft and hard signs, represented in English by a single apostrophe, and a double apostrophe respectively, and have allowed the Library of Congress system to prevail over customary English usage (thus Mayakovsky becomes Maiakovskii, Trotsky is spelled Trotskii, etc.). However, in cases where other forms have become well established — as in Lissitzky, and the Library of Congress system would render it unrecognizable: Lisitskii - the system has not been adopted. A l l translations from Russian texts cited in this study are my own, unless otherwise noted. 29 C H A P T E R O N E Moscow and New York in the 1920s: Challenges and Solutions Cities are not simply material or lived spaces - they are also spaces of the imagination and spaces of representation. Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson, "City Imaginaries," in A Companion to the City Corresponding to the form of the new means of production, which in the beginning is still ruled by the form of the old (Marx), are, in the social superstructure, wish images in which the new and the old interpenetrate in fantastic fashion. This interpretation derives its fantastic character, above all, from the fact that what is old in the current of social development never clearly stands out from what is new, while the latter, in an effort to disengage from the antiquated, regenerates archaic, primordial elements. The Utopian images which accompany the emergence of the new always, at the same time, reach back to the primal past. Walter Benjamin, "Expose," in The Arcades Project Georgii Tikhonovich Krutikov, living in Moscow, 1 and Hugh Ferriss, residing in New York, 2 created images of the ideal future city during the 1920s, from their vantage points within the dynamic exchanges of urban ideas that circulated in their respective milieus. The exposure to everything that was new and inspiring stimulated the architects' engagement with current discourses on the city and architecture, and framed their concepts of the envisioned urban form. It was the ever-changing cities of Moscow and New York, as they had experienced them, combined with the constant flow of various 1 Krutikov, born in 1899 in Voronezh, moved to Moscow in 1922 to enroll at V K h U T E M A S {Vysshie gosudarstvennye khudozhestvenno-tekhnicheskie masterskie - the Higher State Artistic and Technical Workshops, see note 101 below) to study architecture. He stayed and practiced architecture in the capital until his death in 1958. 2 Ferriss, born in 1889, came to New York in 1912 from his native St. Louis at the age of twenty-three with a B. S. in Architecture from Washington University (1911). Working as an architectural Tenderer he lived in New York City until his death in 1962. 30 opinions on the shape, organization and function of urban space that created a springboard to Ferriss's and Krutikov's own projects. In effect, each author used, to various degrees, the city 's built environment, its socio-economic conditions and powerful symbolic connotations, mixed with contemporary professional discourses, as a matrix for the imaginary urban settlement of tomorrow. 3 In this process, both architects embarked on a task to correct the historical urban imperfections accumulated over the centuries. In doing