Living Space/Zhilploschad (together with Alexei Dushkin)

Paperworks Gallery, Moscow
June 10th – July 9th, 2010
Exhibition views by Yuri Palmin


The process of vision is tied to the present, but once vision itself becomes the spectacle, it is inverted, diffused in self-contemplation, entertained by the sensory fluctuations that arise when vision forgets itself in the contemplation of something external. It’s not surprising, then, that the external object of contemplation in an exhibition structured in this way should be (to repeat myself) bare walls showing only the shades of things (the past). Or that the geometrically composed pictures of these walls should look so much like the pictures of floor plans (the future). All these rhyming rectangles of the imagined past/future serve as the pretext for a very painterly metaphysics–a metaphysics of the single present, manifesting as a continuum of plastic modulations and constituting the central theme of this work devoted entirely to vision. It lives in the attention of our eyes and hardens in words and interpretations. Its quality determines the coherence of the three times in our awareness, the intensity of perception that fuels speculation and invention, the persistence of memory and the brightness of anticipation.

Paperno’s work is extended–not only in terms of the time it takes to produce, but in terms of its density, attenuated to the point of insubstantiality. The arrangement of the color mass draws our gaze from the surface deep into the interior and back again both spatially and temporally and somewhere inside eliminates the sense of time altogether, leaving only distance as such. And the distance felt and explored in this work is experienced not as alien but as something kindred – and thematically elaborated in the exhibition space. Dushkin, with his neo-constructivism, points to futuristic Soviet design as a source of inspiration and to Soviet culture in general as an open field of possibility for the creation of today’s forms. At the same time, the rudimentary subjects of Paperno’s paintings, imbued with a nostalgic sensibility, transform the Soviet aura, emptying it of all ideological content, while preserving its original tone, originating not in the last century’s monstrous history, but somewhere in the gap/link between that history’s plans and its ruins – a tone familiar to all who knew something of the residual life and cultural dreams of the era of late communism.

Vladimir Levashov

Translated by Carleton Copeland

Alexandra Paperno and Alexei Dushkin “Living Space/Zhilploschad” at Paperworks Gallery at Winzavod, Moscow, 2010

Екатерина Иноземцева для Афиши
Александра Паперно и Алексей Душкин “Инсталляция на тему канувшего быта”

Фаина Балаховская для TimeOut Москва
Александра Паперно и Алексей Душкин “Жилплощадь”