VDNKh Circular Kinopanorama Pavilion

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The Circular Kinopanorama pavilion — a unique monument of Soviet engineering in cinema, was built in 1959 for the official opening of VDNH, and also the opening of the first American Exhibition in Moscow. A special circular film camera with 11 lenses that look at all cardinal points was used for the Kinopanorama to film views of the Black Sea Coast, Moscow, Leningrad and Tbilisi, the volcanoes of the Kurile Islands, and the Carpathian Mountains. Screenings gave cinemagoers the chance to take an imaginary journey around their country, as if they walked into animated tourist postcards brought home from journeys along the Baikal-Amur Mainline, through Hero Cities, Soviet republics, and around an idealised version of the USSR. Since then, time has stopped for the Circular Kinopanorama. Circular films are no longer filmed. However, by some miracle the unique projection system survived. The Circular Kinopanorama works, forgotten by everyone on the margins of the noisy All-Russian exhibition VDNH, and showing in rotation the six surviving films. It was transformed into a cinema of endlessly repeating films, a permanent loop of itself. Artistic Director Anna Kotomina writes: “The exhibition Cinema of Repeat Film in the Circular Kinopanorama is in tune with the museification project of this memorial to the historical period of the Khrushchyov Thaw. The extremely personal contribution of the artist may do more for the preservation of memories of the past than the archiving efforts of a museum employee.”