RUSSIAN GOLGOTHA NATIONAL MUSEUM AND EDUCATIONAL COMPLEX
The Russian Golgotha National Museum and Educational Complex should complete the creation of a memorial complex at the Butovo training ground. Its mission is to integrate the memory of the persecution and the spiritual opposition of Orthodox believers to a totalitarian society into the memory of the whole people. Such a task cannot be solved without adequate translation of the inner-church intimate experience into the language of modern secular society by means of modern museum culture.
Fundamentals of the concept of the All-Russian Memorial Museum of Feat and Confession in the XX century "Russian Golgotha" Archpriest. Kirill Kaleda, Garkavy I.V., and others.
The museum is planned to be located in a complex of former buildings of the NKVD horse yard built in the 1930s, which is a rectangular building with an open courtyard and a gate located along it's central axis, decorated with a complex double bow pediment. The museum exposition will be located in the front building, in the left wing, as well as in the rear wing of the building, occupying the adapted premises of the first – main – floor, and also, partially, located in the basement halls of the basement.
The scenario proposed by the museum group of the project is a sequence of personal stories/ life stories/ thematic halls strung on a chronological axis/ timeline, tracing the trajectory of Russian history in the 20th century in space. The picture is complemented by atmospheric "thematic reconstructions" that describe individual dramatic plots of this story.
The opposition between the Church and the Soviet state turns out to be a significant idea in the concept. The Church in this case is not only and not so much an institution, but a totality of believers, each of whom chose his own path – asceticism, martyrdom or confession. Accordingly, the main theme that the architecture of the museum exposition should materialize is the clash between the state and the individual, who takes an active position of opposing evil.
In the space of the existing building, the exposition opposing the personality and the totalitarian state can be presented in the form of a suite of hall spaces. Their left side will, presumably, be occupied with a "monumental and decorative" story about the history of Soviet Russia and the USSR, made in the form of an endless sculptural frieze ribbon, developing from the past to the present. The right side will be small compartments or chapels with personal stories of holiness, martyrdom and civil opposition to totalitarianism. In these halls, adapted for the display of personal stories, the new martyrs will coexist with ordinary people who innocently suffered for their faith, free thought, or striving for the truth. After all, before the bloody moloch of totalitarianism, everyone was equally unimportant chips.
The exposition in the chapels can change over time, supplemented by research materials, newly discovered objects and personal complexes from other museums displayed in Butovo – in the format of temporary exhibitions that fit into the general context of the museum's narrative. Accordingly, navigation labels are designed to be replaceable. The "museumified" stories of the righteous can go into the format of virtual expositions that complement and expand the physical body of the museum-monument.
Over time the museum should become the main center for research, popularization and secular commemoration of the Orthodox feat and confession in Russia.
Illustration: Baths of Stabian, Pompeii
Image sourse: Classicult: Casa dell'Ancora Archivi
The contrast of left and right, general and private, state and personal, atheistic and churchly will accompany the visitor on a journey through the museum, opening up new facets of the dramatic confrontation between man and state.
In the exposition, this confrontation will reveal the difference in the scale of the almost intimate personal chapels and the bulk of the common hall "social and historical space". The different heights of the ceilings in the chapels, the architecture that grows out of the properties and composition of individual exposition complexes (“loci”) will also emphasize and intensify the collision. The inner courtyard of the building, turned into a museum, can be likened to a monastery garden, which in the Middle Ages was associated with the Garden of Eden, prepared for the righteous in the future, or the heavenly Jerusalem.
The garden is planned to be laid out in the courtyard of the museum. It will be divided into the number of sections corresponding to the number of droplets in the exhibition. The plants on each site are the new martyrs behind those already on display. It is a metaphor for the growing and evolving museum research, rooted in the memory of the popular commemoration of the spiritual opposition of Orthodox believers to a totalitarian society.
If we consider the plan of the building, it turns out that by rallying, literally “standing up as a wall,” a host of ascetics – new martyrs, passion-bearers and confessors, and ordinary citizens defend the Garden of Eden from the repressive Soviet regime. Extending this metaphor to the present, we can say that together they save our common future from totalitarianism.
Illustration: Heavenly Jerusalem, France, XII century.
Image sourse: The Morgan Library & Museum
1. Hall №1. Immersion in the topic (a story about the very concept of martyrdom and confession in early Christianity and in various Christian denominations)
2. Crossing – "catacombs", along its walls - symbols of Christian martyrdom of different times and countries
3. Hall №2. Causes and background of 20th century persecution
4. Thematic reconstruction
6. Hall of temporary exhibitions
1. Entrance lobby with wardrobe, cash desk and souvenir shop
3. Hall №3. The first stage of persecution during the revolution and civil war 1917-1921
4. Hall №4. 1922-1928 biennium
5. Hall №5.1929-1936
6. Hall №6. 1937-1938
7. Hall №7. 1939-1953 biennium
8. Hall №8. 1953-1991
9. Hall №9. Thematic epilogue of the exposition
10. Conference room
The project involves expanding the foyer of the museum with a wardrobe area in the center. On the left and right there will be a cafe and a ticket office with a museum shop, respectively.
The entrance halls of the exposition are located in the basement of the building: a visitor descending by elevator or stairs is greeted by a dark room with a story about Christian martyrs, then he goes through the catacombs into a space with a prehistory of the persecution of the Orthodox Church in the 20th century.
Rising from the basement, the viewer enters a hall dedicated to the persecution of the church in the 1920s and early 1930s.
The halls of the rear building are located in the former stables. The gates are glazed with translucent glass profiles, which provide even, calm lighting.