Yuri Avvakumov – Agitarch Structures: Reconfiguring Utopia

lying Proletarian - AvvakumovFlying Proletarian – Yuri Avvakumov

In the mid 1980’s architect Yuri Avvakumov produced a series of sculptural works commemorating Soviet Constructivist art and architecture of the 1920’s. The works mainly comprise of delicate wire-frame structures or ‘architectons’, with platforms, which pay homage to artist/architects such as El Lissitzky, Tatlin and Melnikov. The sculptures celebrate the worker, the sportsman as well as the ‘agitprop’ speaker within the construct of the socialist utopia. As architectural propositions they address both the sublime and the surreal simultaneously. For example, Flying Proletarian is devised as a swing for open-air exercises where two teams of competitors, each with a seat equipped with a lever propelling a pair of wings, complete for elevation.

Tribune for Sportsman-ParliamentarianTribune for Sportsman-Parliamentarian – Yuri Avvakumov

Tribune for a Leninist  -  Yuri AvvakumovTribune for a Leninist – Yuri Avvakumov

Red Tower - Yuri AvvakumovRed Tower – Yuri Avvakumov

Worker & Farmer International  -  Yuri AvvakumovWorker & Farmer International – Yuri Avvakumov

Polar Axis - Yuri AvvakumovPolar Axis – Yuri Avvakumov

In Polar Axis three ladders cross between two mirrors (a round one and a square one) and form an imaginable axis of infinite length going through different worlds. The work is ‘dedicated to persons who, while striving for the ideal, come to perceive the real.’

Rostrum for a Sportsman/Parliamentarian is a wedge like, multi-tier tribune for simultaneous addresses by a team of speakers. Wherever no meetings are held, it is used as a trampoline.

 Jupiter Tomb - Yuri AvvakumovJupiter Tomb – Yuri Avvakumov

Jupiter_Tomb - Yuri AvvakumovJupiter_Tomb – Yuri Avvakumov

Jupiter_Tomb - Yuri AvvakumovJupiter_Tomb – Yuri Avvakumov

Jupiter Tomb was intended as a monument/testament to ‘all the artists of the world, and those who know me – according to Malevich’ and was to include a Hevelius telescope on its summit to watch Jupiter.

Crystal Tower - Yuri AvvakumovCrystal Tower – Yuri Avvakumov

 Dominoleum - Yuri AvvakumovDominoleum – Yuri Avvakumov

 Dominoleum - Yuri AvvakumovDominoleum – Yuri Avvakumov

Other series of works such Dominos and House of Cards employ the modularity of familiar objects to create composite combinatorial structures where individual components generate form-finding arrangements. Yuri’s Dominoleum proposes a mausoleum whose surface facets imply number sequences through the use of domino tilings. Crystal Tower uses translucent playing cards and combines a lower rigid tensgrity lattice with an upper top heavy structure. Subscribing to expectations of the ‘house of cards’ game, it appears to be on the point imminent collapse.

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