VENETS. ASCENSION TO ‘OLYMPUS’
Heading off on assignment, an employee of Gluschenkoizdat spent almost twenty days in the ‘Venets’ Hotel. During this time, the correspondent stayed one night in a room on each level, working his way up floor-by-floor from the bottom to the top, until at last, on New Year’s Eve, he reached the recently-opened rooftop bar, ‘Olympus’.
Hotel ‘Venets’ was part of a larger complex of buildings, that were specially constructed to mark the anniversary in Ulyanovsk, a small Soviet town formerly known as Simbirsk, renamed in honour of its most famous son, Lenin (born Ulyanov). A photo album discovered amid the archives of the local history museum, published by the Leningrad architects who designed the hotel, contained photographs of the hotel when it first opened, revealing its original interiors. During its 47 years of operation, the hotel underwent many distinct renovations. For ‘SAPCE FORCE CONSTRUCTION’, I used one of these photographs as a reference for reconstructing a three-room luxury suite within the palazzo in Venice. Accompanying this is a selection of postcards featuring photographs of today’s Ulyanovsk, titled Ascension to ‘Olympus’ (a rooftop bar called ‘Olympus’ recently opened in the Venets.). These images capture my experience of travelling to Ulyanovsk on the eve of the centennial anniversary of the October Revolution. Checking into the hotel, I worked my way up from the first floor to the very top, spending one night in each room, until at last, on New Year’s Eve, I reached ‘Olympus’.