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Do monuments have a destination? The Béton Center for Visual Culture has inaugurated the exhibition “Remember! Forever?” – Russian newspaper

Date: July 18, 2024 Time: 10:22:12

Acquaintance with the exposition begins with the name and quite reasonable surprise at the non-standard placement of accents – the effect is achieved thanks to the bold placement of punctuation marks. When talking about monuments, one expects a pathetic exclamation “Remember? Forever!”, but not an eagerly interrogative “Remember! Forever?”.

The tone of latent anxiety, hardly susceptible to reflection, persists throughout the knowledge of the exhibition, from the first painting to the last sculpture. It is the combination of photography and plastic arts -quite distant from each other- which becomes the main center of tension of the exhibition. The dialogue between photographs and sculptural works of the Russian-American artist Grisha Bruskin, performed in the aesthetics of Soviet propaganda art, gives rise to unexpected associations, brings reflections on the essence of the monument as a historical artifact to a qualitatively new level.

It is the combination of photography and plastic arts -quite distant from each other- which becomes the main center of tension of the exhibition. Photo: Vyacheslav Nemirov / RG

However, the photographs of masters of photography of the past and the century before the past such as Pierre Ambroise Richbourg, Karl Bulla, Nikolai Kuleshov, Leonid Lazarev, Sergey Shimansky still form the basis of the exposition. A selection of black and white shots acts as a kind of textbook on the history of the state through the prism of the most important monuments of the country.

The famous monument “The Millennium of Russia”, erected in Veliky Novgorod, the sculptural images of powerful autocrats who survived and were demolished during the years of Soviet power – slowly but surely, these symbols of autocracy are being replaced by new heroes, and by therefore new monuments. Through the history of national monumental sculpture, the organizers of the exhibition “Do you remember! Forever?” Tell about the life of Russia, about periods of radical changes in ideologies, even more – paradigms of civilization. The slender realism of the monumental sculpture of Alexander III has an alternative in the form of propaganda trains, and lines of athletes walk the length of the mausoleum that resembles a Babylonian ziggurat, from where the first monument of the capital can be easily reached : the majestic figures of the liberators of Moscow Kuzma Minin and Dmitry Pozharsky.

But not everyone’s known types of sculptural compositions are especially impressive, everyone has seen Vera Mukhina’s masterpiece “Worker and Collective Farm Girl”. If not live, then on the Mosfilm screensaver. Much more touching and truthful, especially in contrast to the bureaucracy of “big state monuments” – the history of small monuments. And such plots at the exhibition “Remember! Forever?” enough: here in Pavlovsk, liberated in 1944, museum workers are installing buried sculptures at the time of the arrival of fascist invaders in their places – and, if you look closely, you can see that there is not a single man among whom install them. From such subtle details – goosebumps.

It can be said that the exhibition basically maintains the chronological principle of the narrative – from photographs taken in the mid-19th century to works from the recent past – but this rule is not strictly observed. Often, for the curators of the exhibition, it was apparently more important to convey a sense of variability, flexibility of the monument when it falls into a different temporal context.

This is acutely felt on the example of the images of the already mentioned sculptural composition “Collective Farm Worker and Girl”. A series of three photographs of the monument is presented in a canonical, one might even say socialist realist, ideally built framework, which is simply impossible to find fault with – this is the work of Naum Granovsky in 1940. Framed by all the rules, this photograph it was realized by the works of Sergei Borisov of the 90s: an almost humorous sketch with a young acrobat climbing the pedestal of the monument, and a suprematist composition from the profile of a steelworker and a truck. crane.

A series of three photographs of the monument is presented in a canonical, one might even say socialist realist, ideally built framework, which is simply impossible to find fault with – this is the work of Naum Granovsky in 1940. Photo: Vyacheslav Nemirov / RG

A series of melancholy shots by Igor Mukhin, freelance photographer and author of the “Soviet Monuments”, “Soviet Bank” and “Soviet Playgrounds” cycles complete the exhibition. These photographs are filled with sadness in recent years: the symbols of the Soviet era in the landscape of the Russian hinterland of the mid-90s resemble artifacts from distant Atlantis, which knows how to find itself in the midst of the vast Russian expanses.

The final minor note of the exhibition does not let you exhale, not even when you leave the spacious space of the Béton visual culture center, made to match the name, in gray tones, and exit to the Yakimanskaya embankment, where Muscovites, al They seem to never get discouraged. There also stands the cyclopean bronze figure Peter the Great.

The exhibition does not teach to respect the monuments, but it shows how fragile these apparently indestructible elements of our culture are, how important all of them, from small to giant, are important to preserve the memory of the past and therefore to build a future. happy. .

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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