“Abandoned Utopia: The Ice Skate Factory” is an aesthetic, archeological and sociological interpretation of field studies of a ruined industrial landscape of Verkhoturye and creation of an ideal museum from the Ice Skate Factory of Verkhoturye. The exhibition includes multimedia installation “Cathedral of Workers of the Ice Skate Factory”, sculpture “Ever Higher and Higher and Higher!”, video and photographs “Ruins of Memory: Missa Solemnis” and also a documentary film “End of the Working Day”.
“We present an imaginary museum of the Ice Skate Factory as a museum-cathedral of individual people, united by their erstwhile labor at the factory. The industrial era substituted cathedrals for factories, and this process went even further in the Soviet Union, where religion was abolished, and factories were perceived as spiritual and quasi-religious centers. In 1997 the Ice Skate Factory at Verkhoturye was closed. So we have built transparent walls for the cathedral-museum of the Ice Skate Factory in which to house the souls of all those who once dwelled in these shops, stood at the work benches, ground the blades, affixed them to the soles of the shoes, stacked them neatly in boxes, and performed quality control.”