Alexander Lavrentiev is a senior lecturer for design and photography at the Stroganov Moscow State University of Arts & Industry – founded in 1825 by Baron Sergey Stroganov. In 1843 the school became state-owned and is now one of the oldest Russian Schools for industrial, monumental and decorative art and design. The film includes sequences shot in the academy sculpture school and still life classes, with participating of today’s art students and teachers.
Lavrentiev is the world expert on his grandfather, Alexander Rodchenko’s work and has published books on his grandmother, Varvara Stepanova, another prominent member of Russia’s avant garde. Rodchenko is perhaps the most important avant garde artist to have put his art in the service of political revolution. Rodchenko commited to the Russian Revolution, causing him to abandon first painting and then fine art, to instead put his skills in the service of industry an the state, he also worked in Russia for decades as a pioneering photographer. Later in his career he returned to painting due to increasingly repressive politics targeted against modern artists in Russia.