JUNE 08 - SEPTEMBER 23
ON JUNE 8, THE ZARYA CENTER OF CONTEMPORARY ART OPENS THE EXHIBITION “UNIVERSE OF RELATIONS”, BRINGING TOGETHER MEDIA ART, VIDEO AND PHOTOGRAPHY DEALING WITH VARIOUS ASPECTS OF ARCHITECTURE AS A SOCIAL PHENOMENON.
EXHIBITION CURATOR — ANDREY VASILENKO
ADMISSION FREE OF CHARGE
The exhibition “Universe of relations” brings into focus how an architectural environment can operate as a full participant in the space of social interactions, while also acting as a bearer of historical memory. The works of artists presented within this exhibition may use a variety of methods to represent architectural objects, but their message is one and the same: architectural objects and the practice of design are not just the result of the creative toil of one individual, striving to meet his or her own needs alone. Instead, the artists explore architecture as, on the one hand, a reality that affects a person, structuring his or her everyday life, thereby revealing itself as a full-fledged subject in and of itself, and on the other, a massive archive, enormously impacting how we construct an image of the past.
The central channel of this discussion – the media of photography and video – offers a perspective on the artificial living environment that is filtered through the speculative view of the documenting instrument – the camera. The world of architectural objects and city spaces that unfolds before the viewer is markedly different from the perspective and sensations of the user of that urban environment. In this way, the researcher’s view is established as that of an outside observer, distanced from the object of study and thus stripped of user status, existing beyond the direct impact of the architecture.
Instead, the exhibition looks at architecture through its social, political and historical dimensions. For instance, in the video of Lithuanian cinematographer Deimantas Narkevicius, Scena, frames showing the interiors and exteriors of the Center of Contemporary Art in Vilnius (the former Palace of Artistic Exhibitions) are accompanied by fragmentary narratives from the center’s employees. They speak about their experiences working in the building that was once tainted as part of the artistic system of one era, but now exists in a completely different political and ideological reality.
Amid the objects on display will be several works dedicated to rethinking the Modernist project through an analysis of the symbolic influence of architecture on the political and ideological climate of the past century. Austrian artist Andreas Fogarasi captures the transforming interiors of the work clubs of Budapest, which were originally designed to facilitate the leisure time of workers, but ended up not being necessary after the fall of the communist regime in Hungary.
In the installation by Filipa César, Porto, 1975, a residential complex, designed by the preeminent Portugese architect Álvaro Siza, is presented as a kind of monument to self-organization and the revolutionary movement.
Some of the central works in the exhibition are the sketches and videos of the French-Israeli artist Absalon, who created unique installations, inhabitable “living units”, which, according to the artist, could aid a person on the path to self-knowledge, including on the physical level.
In Andreas Bunte’s video, Erosion, we see buildings on the campus of Simon Fraser University, located on the outskirts of Vancouver. The structures are not presented as an architectural complex, as far as the traditions of photo and video footage of structures go. Rather, the artist acts like a geologist, or maybe even an anatomist, depicting the buildings as living organisms, existing in close cooperation with the natural landscape.
The exhibition will be presented in two acts. Midway through the exhibition period, a selection of the works included in the first part of the show will be swapped out, altering the tonality of the overall symbolic composition of the exhibition. Also within the framework of the exhibition will be two substantial film programs, consisting of documentary, artistic, and experimental films that demonstrate the wide repertoire of creative interpretations of architectural practice.
Picture: EROSION. Andreas Bunte. Erosion. 16mm film transferred to HD Video, colour, sound / 17:25 min / 2015. Courtesy of Artist