As we know, the history of architecture is, to a large extent, the visualization of the history of both state and personal power. After some time, the power which stands behind a building or a style is though forgotten, and only the form remains, and it becomes possible to enjoy looking at the past symbols of terror. The city charges the vacant forms with new content. The next step would be to substitute the material used for creating these forms.
Nurtured with Charles Perrault’s fairy tales and stories about the trophy furniture, Oleg Matrokhin experienced himself the role of the forms which surround us during the process of growing up. We learn how to subconsciously recognize the shape from far away, and after just one glance at the painting in a pompous frame or a richly decorated clock we immediately associate it with something from the 18th century. The visuality which used to be an interpretation of the epoch is now present only in shape of a silhouette which is easy to recognize almost everywhere – even if it was just a crumpled napkin.
Anton Zabrodin rethinks the flags decreasing their rupture with the real landscape, which those flags separate into a number of unnatural parts. Nominal borders which we learn to take as a given partially because of the flags, play a more important role in a country’s faith than the natural ones. Zooming in we can see that the borders can easily disappear on human scale. However, when manifested in the barbed wire they can also completely block the interconnection in between the two parts of a natural whole.
Mikhail Zaikanov directs the attention towards the way we are given the ideals for how to live and talk. In a similar way as in his earlier project on children’s games, which transmit certain norms of behavior to the following generations, Mikhail now refers to the language as a tool to form a certain idea about the world. The ideal of housing is one of the most important characteristics of an epoch since that is what retranslates the norms of behavior.
The exhibition participants penetrate into the material used to create the visual conductors of the education. Defocusing our eyes, we find ourselves in a scenic world of an old mansion, in the XXth century transferred to the embassy of a country with an unknown flag. Bringing the details back into focus, we see something similar to if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tower was constructed out of banana boxes filled by the old books.
© 2010—2019 Sonya Guimon