Alexander Brodsky

07.11.2014 – 30.11.2014, Triumph Gallery

The choice of title for Alexander Brodsky's new project in itself seems paradoxical. Indeed, it really would be difficult to imagine anything further from the readiness that is obligatory for the mainstream to everywhere and anywhere follow in line with others who are much the same than Brodsky's projects. Beginning with his “paper architecture”, where Brodsky and his colleague and friend Ilya Utkin created architectural concepts that were unimaginable in their grandiosity and elegance, in Alexander's creative laboratory there has never been, and never could be, a place for anything trivial or banal. There are no grounds to believe that today this innovation in the form of creative thinking itself that is immanently inherent to Brodsky could have disappeared or even have slipped into the background. On the contrary, the new conception and its embodiment on the walls of Triumph Gallery convincingly refutes any such assumption.

We have already seen his “Rotunda” with its opening doors and the “Pavilion for Water Ceremonies”, “The Ice Bar” and “The Cistern”, “Twenty Garbage Cans” and “Facades”, “The Road” and “The Settlement”, and much more that is witty and absolutely astonishing.And each and every time these designs-objects-installations visually and semantically embody certain simple but entirely necessary truths and values, without which the natural sense of self of the modern man is impossible, and force us to think of light and darkness, of life and death, of goodness, attention and mercy for those who are close to us.

Brodsky wouldn't be Brodsky if this time he didn't again manage to set out his installation as a design. And not just as an architectural design, but also as architectural and environment forming. As can easily be seen, Brodsky really does continually go beyond the boundaries of his own architectural thinking and construct significant chunks of real or imagined space. This time, the small houses or barns that have been laid out in the space at Triumph have walls and roofing, but no floors – they have been replaced by video projections of stormy flows of water. Taking a look inside one of these houses through the small «windows», the spectator in the majority of cases instinctively tries to grab onto something firm, as if afraid of falling and being washed away by the waters hurtling past. This initial sense of shock is then replaced with a less emotional and more conceptual notion on virtual space constructed by the force of the artist's imagination.

Following the winding course of the channel, the house-barns are located in the gallery's interior according to an asymmetrical, capricious logic. And we, submitting to some sort of subconscious but very powerful impulse, mentally associate them with a certain unified chain, like a fragile bridge that nevertheless bears some hope of salvation that connects the shores of the channel.

Andrey Tolstoy