In documenting a unique phenomenon, the German photographer Frank Herfort has journeyed to the most remote areas of the former Soviet Union. After the collapse of the regime, a strangely pompous architectural style sprung up throughout the new republic. It conflates the aesthetics of monumental Soviet architecture with the Western language of form seen in the twentieth century.

Frank Herfort has been criss-crossing Russia for the last four years photographing his long-term project "Imperial Pomp - Post Soviet  Highrise" . Totally unlike conventional urban photos, his images of monstrously massive buildings with an overwhelming presence seem to come from another time and dimension.

As part  of  the  project, Frank Herfort travelled across Russia and former Soviet republics  like  Kazakhstan, Azerbaidshan, Ukraine and Belarus.  He photographed the  country's  metropolises with populations of a million or more. Some of the images  show skyscrapers that appear to have been thrown down to the earths by the gods, set against sleepy, surrealistic backdrops. All these buildings have sprung up as if from nowhere, backed by the new financial elite that formed after the Soviet Union crumbled. There’s no doing things by halves here – these buildings are all about pomp and circumstance and making a statement.

In his work, Herfort adopts  the  classic  style  of  architectural  photography, working with a large-format camera.   All  the  photos  are  authentic,  have  not been manipulated  and they have been taken either during sunset or lighted up at night in order to emphasize the buildings' grandeur. The  homes  are  reminiscent of outsized Soviet memorials. They evoke the longing  for  past  grandeur  and  the current  ambition  to  exceed  that greatness. 


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