Moscow's Hidden Mosaics

Polina Poludkina is revealing and preserving Soviet modernist mosaics through her photographs.

While studying the relationship between architecture and monumental art, architect and photographer Polina Poludkina rediscovers Soviet mosaics, hidden in plain sight on Moscow panel buildings.

“Mosaics of the Soviet modernist period are of the most interest to me,” says Polina. “As functionalism took over aesthetics, and technological progress marched on, decorative mosaics evolved against the unlikely background of experimental housing and growing residential areas.”

Polina collects photos of seemingly abstract tiles, as well as those that evoke stories of family, technology, progress, and bright futures. Some mosaics resemble religious images – arguably serving as icons for an atheist era. At the same time, most of them are unattributed, thus taking their place within city folklore. 

As the mosaics gradually succumb to time’s decay, Polina seeks to preserve them in her memory.