Author's note for the book "Oseyev"
Oseyev is a made-up name for the part of Moscow's metropolitan area that lies beyond MKAD (the ring road that encircles the Russian capital and that once served as the city's administrative boundary). All the photographs were taken in inhabited residential areas and in districts that were under construction at the time – all the sites are marked on the map. Additionally, there have been included excerpts from news media articles related to construction on these sites, promotional materials issued by development companies, recollections of residents, and archival materials.
Oseyev is an environment of severed ties and bonds: it is a city that lies outside the realm of cultural experience, a cluster of mass-produced microdistricts that appear at random, be it in the middle of an old construction site, following a demolition, or somewhere else completely: in wastelands, along highways, near industrial facilities and landfills. Having been pushed beyond MKAD, Oseyev spreads out, consuming the nearby areas, erasing the borders and differences between human settlements. Its architectural landscape forms the new living space for the Russian capital region as well as for the country's other big urban agglomerations.
I am using a fictional place name in order to define this space and to demonstrate one of the possible scenarios of its future development. The scenario I have presented here (in which Oseyev is abandoned by its residents) is unfeasible in the context of the current economy, but the photographs in this book – documental material extracted from inhabited apartments and districts – tell a different story altogether, turning the impossible future into a fleeting, yet tangible reality.