Exile Exotic by Sasha Litvintseva (2015)
Online film program / Other Zones
Two decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain, many of the former communist countries are taking architectural measures meant to erase the communist experience and drag them closer to an idealized inter-war past. At the same time, the “West” is witnessing a growing nostalgia for an utopian “Eastern” past that never existed. This manifests itself as a new demand for ruin porn: abandoned buildings, derelict infrastructures and abandoned ambitions.
At a spectrum opposite to ruin porn, but within the same vein, are the replicas of historic buildings. The retro-futurist ruins and the bold new retrograde Disneylands go hand in hand. Both devoid of the past meaning, they turn symbols into accessories for consumer experience. “Exile Exotic” revolves around such a building; namely Antalya, a hotel that represents an apolitical, decontextualized replica of the Kremlin. This is the pretext for a series of reflections about the historical symbols’ trajectory outside of history, the politics of borders as well as the role of architecture, place and identity in configuring the idea of motherland.