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Igor Chirkin & Alexey Podkydishev solo show Communications

Igor Chirkin & Alexey Podkydishev solo show Communications
Dates: April 18 — May 19, 2013
Venue: Schusev state museum of architecture

In their new project „Communications” Igor Chirkin and Aleksey Podkidyshev refer to different artistic disciplines and traditions. On the one hand, one can easily notice in their work dedication to industrial technology and everyday practices which is characteristic of the modern sculpture. Welded structures and fabrics, packaging materials and rubbish items are working together as both sculptural form and elements of the overall space. At this level, the project is presented as an installation, conceptually and aesthetically charged environment, which should not be mused at a distance, but lived directly from inside. The author uses the exhibition environment itself as a means of communication, a place for meeting and dialogue between the embodiment and perception of the idea.

„Communications” give a critical look at the problems, which are close to modern architecture as well. Here the artists are interested in two major trends. First, the transition from the object space models to procedural ones, turning static construction volumes into networks of streams of symbols, objects, and people, fuelled by social energy. The second is the anthropological turn, growing influence of cultural, social and psychological forces on the organization of space. The factors, recently considered as negligibly weak, are becoming increasingly important — emotions and imagination are more efficient in giving shape to the urban environment than universal standards and norms are. Thus, approaching a human being, architecture becomes an extension of their body.

In different cultures, from the Archaic to the Renaissance, a human body had been considered a mirror of the world, its parts being often associated with the corresponding regions of the world; the most esoteric knowledge had a reverse perspective, according to which the universe was seen as an analogue of the body. Today's life spaces are mobile and flexible, they need direct communication of the body with the reality rather than analogies. Separation of micro — macro — and mega-scales of the spatiality (people, landscape, and city), characteristic of the past eras, is now dissolving in the reality of digital media. It seems that soon it will be possible to wear and change the environment like our clothes. Theorists call it wearable space, interface space, in which architecture and nature, design and void merge creating new opportunities for human impact on the surrounding reality.

Chirkin and Podkidyshev deliberately give this metaphor a literal interpretation to draw our attention to its unexpected consequences. The „Communications” project can be read as a cognitive map of the „liquid modernity.” Symbols in this map — whether mundane objects or plastic delights — are of complex nature. These are monuments of post-industrial production of unity of culture and nature, comments to the contradictions of globalization, and reminders of the fact, that things around us are only fragments of the social tissue, a thin membrane between the past and the future, sensitive to changes in the history flow streaming through it.

Stas Shuripa