Doctoral Project
"Es waren schöne glänzende Zeiten" Medievalism as common ground between the German-speaking and Russian/Soviet avant-garde (1910-1930s)

Doctoral Project
Alex Protopappas
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Maarten Delbeke

The doctoral project presents a revisionary reading of architectural and literary sources originating from leading figures such as I. Leonidov, K. Malevich, V. Khlebnikov, B. Taut, R. Steiner, and P. Scheerbart, who propagated a radical transformation of society through architecture. The goal is to refute the established historiographical position that views the two avant-gardes as opposing each other and their visionary architecture as a failed attempt at sociopolitical change. Instead, the project demonstrates that the ‘utopians’ of both avant-gardes actually attempted to address a fundamental sociocultural condition of modernity: the tension between cultural identity and universalism. They did so by introducing an idealized reinterpretation of the Middle-Ages, both aesthetically and ideologically.

Image: Annie Besant and C.W. Leadbeater (as painted by "Mr. John Varley, Mr. Prince and Miss Macfarlane"). "Music by Gounod, " in Thought-Forms, Bradford: Percy Lund, Humphries & Co Ltd, The Country Press, 1925. Retrieved: November 21, 2022 from The Project Gutenberg,