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Hotel Rossiya project, Moscow 2005

Hotel Rossiya, Moscow is a modernist building complex built during Brezniev's time, in the sixties. With 2700 rooms, it was the biggest hotel in Europe at the time, and it was used by party members coming to Moscow and important foreign guests. The hotel’s location on the Moscow River, next to the Kremlin, symbolized the Russian Empire’s ever-lasting apparatus and the bright new future represented in the ruling Communist Party.
In 2005, I hurried to Moscow to photograph the Hotel's interior, after learning that it was due for demolition in January 2006. While photographing, I realized that this institute actually represented the current situation in Russia: An unrenovated part of the complex was still used by local tourists, another part was renovated for the use of foreign tourists, and yet another part was rented out as office space to foreign companies, all the while, tunnels connected the cellars to the Kremlin.

In Hotel Rossiya, I found an opportunity to investigate the representation of power and authority I’ve known from my childhood, growing up in a communist country. The hotel functioned like a forgotten time capsule, a time capsule that I could access, even if briefly.


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