chapter  1
42 Pages

Tatlin’s Tower: an image outside of time

The subject of this chapter was chosen reluctantly. Being such a famous project, it seemed at first to be unlikely that anything remotely new could be said about it. However, even simple initial research showed that although Tatlin’s Tower is an iconic piece of architecture, it is hard to obtain concrete information regarding it. Any ‘original’ material is either scant or lost altogether. This lack of information is combined with the wealth of interpretations, including confusing and contradictory ‘facts’ and many misinterpretations. I would argue that, not despite but precisely, because it appears to be so well known, Tatlin’s Tower illustrates adequately an important mode of operation for the unbuildable. This perception enables some projects to be famous or even iconic, yet not known at all. A vast space for speculation, creativity, and imagination, opened in this way, is coupled with the unique idealism of the early Soviet period, enabling the Tower to surpass the period of its creation and stand literally outside of time.