Matthieu Martin

7.09- 14.10.2019

Opening​: 6 September, 2019

Aperto Raum
Sophienstraße 21
2|3 Sophie-Gips-Höfe
10178 Berlin-Mitte

Through an aerial exploration of the utopian city of Avtozavod (Russia) and its surroundings, the video  installation​ Autopia​ (2015-2018) created by Matthieu Martin, forms the point of departure for an interrogation  of our historical and geopolitical understanding.

Beginning on the banks of the Oka river – where Vladimir Shukhov built the world’s only diagrid hyperboloid  transmission tower in the late 1920’s – the film brings the viewer’s attention to the heart of the utopian city.  Throughout the story the audience is slowly transported back in time to 1929, when the Soviet government  made a contract with the American company Ford and the architect Albert Kahn to create the “first socialist  city in the world.” It is the first city built in Russia after the revolution and the biggest car factory in Europe of  its time – a copy of the Ford Rouge plant in Detroit, Michigan.

Through extensive research in newspapers, books, and historic film recordings of the original locations  Matthieu Martin explored this mostly unknown collaboration between the Soviet Government and the  American company, as well as the expectations emerging from it. Almost satirical if not real, the  contemplative journey into the “Soviet Detroit,” enables us to see the vitality of the city today, the former  realm of the socialist dream and – when looking at the master plan – the almost hidden traces of the  American presence.

Aperto Raum​ is a nonprofit space devoted to the dialogue between East & West, with a regular program of  precisely curated shows and public programming.