Artists have always inhabited the Narkomfin, and are among those who struggle for saving its architectural heritage. Nevertheless their role in the Narkomfin story is also ambiguous, as possible agents of gentrification and displacement. MIAN is allowing some artists to use the spaces of the building as studio, but the residents react against the artists, denouncing their supposedly illegal use of the building.
residents of the narkomfin lock up artists
Residents of the Narkomfin building were trying not to let out of the Narkomfin building people who came to see the exhibition called “The Communal block” which was organized by the Union of Street Art. For the exhibition they unauthorizedly occupied the Narkomfin house as a sign of protest against adoption of Luzhkov’s General Plan of Moscow city development. The exhibition continued for 40 minutes and was closed as Narkomfin residents started calling the police and were trying to detain artists, journalists and visitors of the exhibition. When police arrived all exhibits were given to the Narkomfin building as a gift for inconvenience caused by the exhibition and its organizers (non-residential part of the building was occupied by the artists without authority). But none of visitors or artists were detained or arrested. One of the exhibition aim was to draw public attention to the problems of Moscow’ General plan. Curator of the exhibition was Denis Mustafin.
Translation Anastasia Volkova