In the past, faux facades were rare and temporary interventions in urban spaces in Russia, but today they have become a part of the city landscape, only replaced from time to time. A drawn-over reality fills in the modern city landscape, shaping how those who live and visit it perceive the world. Looking at the windows, arches, and other architectural elements constructed in graphic editors and printed in great detail, it is impossible to tell what is hidden behind the faux facades: a historical monument awaiting reconstruction, a building in a state of disrepair concealed from the public eye, new construction space or just an empty spot.
In the series Kunststück, artist Olya Pegova bring changes into the cityscapes of Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Nizhny Novgorod by means of digital editing, leaving the faux facades untouched. For the locals who look at the images, the views seem familiar, but it is no longer clear what actually exists and what has been digitally altered and now only deceptively resembles reality. For those who are used to seeing buildings covered with simple plastic netting used for practical renovation and construction or utilized as an advertising space, Pegova’s project introduces questions about the possibilities held in the public space for the construction of aesthetic, architectural, and cultural perceptions.
In collaboration with the Russian Cultural Center in Tel Aviv
Ya'ara Raz Haklai