one and many-2

ONE AND MANY. Part two.   2016

Reconstruction of a Hero.
Konstantin Selikhanov
Olga Rybchinskaya

The “Reconstruction of a Hero” project is the second part of the “One and Many” project that was successfully carried out in 2012. It represents a total intervention within the building of Zair Azgur Museum and Workshop, also being called“ museum to the era”. For that purpose, a virtually new museum space was built up, as well as the unique exposition 8.09-15.10.2016 created.
Museum profile: “Z.I. Azgur Me morial Museum and Workshop is a unique type of museum. “Museum of the era”, “museum to the era”. Founded at the premises of the Academy of Arts of the USSR Workshop (Sculpture Department) and artist’s private studio, it is the only monographic museum in the Republic of Belarus.
Zair Isaakovich Azgur (2.01. 1908-18.02.1995) is an outstanding portraitist of the 20th century, who stood at the origins of the foundation of the Belorussian School of Sculpture. He holds the titles of People’s Artist of the BSSR and the USSR, Hero of Socialist Labor, is a winner of Stalin Prizes and full member of the Academy of Arts of the USSR”.(source:
The exhibition-intervention has been conceived as a single installation to be designed out of four parts. Here, the corridor principle is being applied, through which goes a viewer. The interchanging spaces flexibly visualize the four backbone themes investigated by the author. Project’s “exhibition text” folds up from “multifaceted and multidimensi onal" artwork-installations: “Reconstruction” is an attempt to create the other reality, diffe rent from the trivial one. This is a temporary tridimensional construction, arranged by the will of an artist, absorbs a viewer. The space, imbued with a sound and limited to a narrow corridor, imitates a permanent state of “transition”, transformation and remodeling of our attitudes – the “past-present” cluster is being actualized in the form of emotional experience, the context that is rather being felt than apprehended. This never-ending process, a continuous playback of the reframing, is being visualized through the installation. Thus, it designates a symbolic threshold – the line of contact and confrontation b etween the real and the imaginary.
The theme of the future, the interrelation of historical events in a volatile context of time, is being revealed in the “Parcel”instal lation. Susan Sontag was right to exclaim back in the 1970th: “it is a nostalgic time right now…”, when we still proceed to indulge only in a conventional image stereotyped by “the truth image”. What does h istorical heritage mean to us today? A global resource of meanings, impetuses; a symbolic asset or a vacuum filled with the same old shadows from the past? Or a ready-made kit to design out ofassimilated thoughts, convincing texts, hackneyed quotes? An empty parcel without the addressee name and the return address.
The “Shooting-range” installation exhibits a new pantheon of heroes: the outcasts of the Soviet mainstream and the anonymous characters accidentally singled out from the crowd. It is a polysynthetic visualization of the status quo, when the downfall of big ideas, common ideologies leads to a total upheaval of social and cultural values, as well as of the channels to pass them on. Any heroic or pseudo-heroic action appears in the World Wide Web, on TV and is absorbed by this global communication combine. As never before is it fair to say “information is the most powerful weapon”. Given that only 20 years ago the channels of its broadcasting were under social control and politically relevant, today this source is available to anyone, the instrument of image manipulation is at everyone’s disposal. It only takes to generate the imitation of a deed and to distribute the information about it. Everything is determined by speed and informational lawlessness. Agai nst the backdrop of real heroes, the fakes spring up, illusion is being replicated. Heroes are replacing one another, coming from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, entering the close attention zone, “in the crosshairs” of upheaval, criticism and stock-taking. The fading targets of yesterday's values undergoing destruction- doubt.
“Hero” - is the culmination, a logical conclusion of author’s complex narration. Here comes a hero. However, his identity is not ba sed on confrontation and overt opposition of the old and the new. Museum’s permanent exposi tion space itself engineers the comprehen sion of a central art object that absorbs the images of actors gone together with t he era, anonymous winners; and singles out the traits of today's heroes as well. It is an image of at the same time victorious and conquered present, the object that has the whole global ideological blow targeted at it. The totality and fatality of ideas, texts define the position of a figure, yet do not suppress it in an attempt to resist.