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The Cinema for Silent Movies in Odessa

Part 2 Project 2010
University of Innsbruck Innsbruck Austria
The cinema for silent movies is an eventspace and a performative architectural object. It combines three different situations of how a silent movie event could be performed in one architectural element. The cinema is a rolling object in the endless landscape close to Odessa. In connection with Sergej Eisenstein´s movie Battleship Potemkin the Cinema for Silent Movies produces a narrative with the two cities of Constanta in Romania and Odessa in Ukraine as main venues.
Constanta is the place where the cinema will be build on a cargo ship. The building process is based on a fixed time table starting on the 01.02.2012. After four months of building the cinema on a cargo ship, it will take off from the harbour of Constanta, heading to
Odessa´s main harbour on the 01.06.2012.
The main harbour of Odessa is a very popular place with the famous Potemkin stairs. The anchor point of the cargo ship with the silent movie cinema is very close to the famous stairs. The temporary anchor place in Odessa in connection with the cargo ship of the cinema will produce different rumours in the city. The sound-tuning of the cinema with the piano is the main event where a strange sound-atmosphere in the harbour area will be produced. After this event the cargo ship with the cinema will take off to a southern harbour of Odessa where the cinema will be send into an endless flat landscape. The cinema is a rolling building with three different general positions for three different silent movie events. The first silent movie event takes place in the outskirts of Odessa on the 09.06.2012, the starting day of the European Football Championship. Odessa is not a host city of the games but has a special venue - a hidden alternative cultural eventspace. The Cinema for Silent Movies will bring a new cultural input into the city of Odessa not by creating a new building in the city center but rather by creating rumours and massages of the cinema, coming from the outskirts of Odessa.

In the course of his work he demonstrated a great ability to develop an independent, original research topic, bringing together complex and difficult themes to a clear, engaging resolution.

His work centered round the city of Odessa and it’s unique connection to silent movies initiated with Eisenstein’s film Battleship Potemkin (1925), suggesting a travelling structure to host a variety of performances. The entirely circular structure not only adapts to the remarkably flat territory of the surrounding landscape but also to unique and most actual social and cultural patterns of Odessa and its history.

Through painstaking research and travels, he retraced the historical and cultural background of both, location and culture, casting light on the people and their relation to places, especially the Odessa staircase featured in Eisenstein’s film. He developed a unique structure to respond to findings including all aspects of spatial, structural and programmatic issues to complete this personal work. But most of all his work emerged through a methodical, critical experimentation engaging contents, techniques and material manifestation as reciprocal dependencies.

His exploration covered an impressive range of issues from history to contemporary culture in the wake of most recent changes, highlighting diverse fields and bringing them into a critical correlation. This multi-faceted approach is a reflection of the carefulness of his inquiries, of his commitment and resourcefulness.


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