Abolished Constellations. Works on paper

Self-Love Among the Ruins, Любовь среди руин, Abolished Constellations. Works on paper, Отмененные созвездия
Abolished Constellations, 2016–2018. Ink and graphite powder on paper, 51 drawings

The ancient Sumerians, and later the ancient Greeks, established most of the northern constellations in use today. When explorers mapped the stars of the southern skies, European and American astronomers proposed new constellations for that region. In 1922, the International Astronomical Union adopted the modern list of 88 constellations, which depict 42 animals, 29 inanimate objects and 17 humans or mythological characters. It was agreed that the list would be final and no new constellations would be added. The number 88 has no particular scientific or cultural significance. It is random. Constellations not recognised by the International Astronomical Union were abolished. Some of them appear in old maps and etchings, among them Argo Navis, which was one of the 48 proposed by Ptolemy. The list of 51 constellations that fell victim to unification and standardisation forms the basis of Alexandra Paperno’s project. This list is the result of a peculiar bureaucratic process: something that had never objectively existed was officially abolished.

Exhibition “Self-Love among the Ruins” at Schusev State Museum of Architecture, Moscow
Curated by Ekaterina Inozemtseva
November 13–December 13, 2018
Exhibition views by Anastasia Soboleva

Works from the series “Abolished Constellations”