Chad from Kid Robot was kind enough to pass along the info for this show to me. In the last couple of years I actually started getting more and more interested in procuring a lot of thesevintage item from the Soviet Union, especially the toys. I remember having a few things a kid growing up and then some other objetcts, toys, etc, etc at my grandpparets and cousins’ homes.
I’m not really certain how accurate of a the term “Extinct” is to some of these items, since every Russian book & CD shop in Brighton Beach carries a wide range of cheap souvenir items aping the style. For example see the Rocking Doll used in the press release (see photo above). Either way I’m sure it will be an interesting and huge assortment of vintage eye candy from a long gone era! And I hope to see loads of things you can’t find cheap souvenirs of! Check out the press release below:
EXTINCT: Products from the Soviet State Store
Collected by Constantin and Laurene Boym
Soviet consumer products always reminded me of weeds. Cheap, anonymous, notorious for their clunky robust look, they proliferated in great numbers at all levels of Soviet society. Like the Soviet State itself, it seemed they were destined to live forever.
Once Russia turned capitalist in the early 1990s, it was only a matter of time before the weeds got cleared out. Presently, most products in this show are extinct, or at least endangered; perhaps they still could be found on flea markets, far in the provinces. We picked them at random during our early visits to Russia, driven, in part, by collectors instinct, in part by a desire to amuse our American design colleagues.
Today, these products may still amuse someone, but their unpretentious simplicity can also teach us a few design lessons. Eventually, they will pass into the realm of historical artifacts. As years go by, they remain material witnesses to a very strange way of life, my life back in the USSR.
November 7 – 16, 2008
95 Spring Street, 2nd Floor
Opening Party: Friday, November 7, 7:00 – 10:00 pm- My Pal the Crook