2 October 2015
19:30–21:00

DESCRIPTION

Art historian Olesya Turkina will talk about a key image for Louise Bourgeois’ works – the spiral, the metaphor for uncertainty and ambiguity—for centripetal and centrifugal forces representing the order and chaos in our universe. At the same time, the recurrent visual element of a diagonal paired with a spiral in Bourgeois' work is strangely reminiscent of Vladimir Tatlin's famous, unrealized project Monument to the Third International.

A key image in the artist's work, for Louise Bourgeois the spiral is a metaphor for uncertainty and ambiguity—for centripetal and centrifugal forces representing the order and chaos in our universe. At the same time, the recurrent visual element of a diagonal paired with a spiral in Bourgeois' work is strangely reminiscent of Vladimir Tatlin's famous, unrealized project Monument to the Third International, also known as Tatlin's Tower, now a major symbol of Modernism in Russia. In the 20th century, the spiral shape was used in mechanics, appearing in the turbine, the drill, and the screw. Industrialization brought Archimedes' Screw, a device for lifting water, back to life. Despite being familiar with the artist's works and travelling to Moscow in 1932 and 1934, Louise Bourgeois never met Vladimir Tatlin, and her sculptures are fundamentally very different from the grand design created by the Soviet painter and architect.

ABOUT THE LECTURER

Olesya Turkina is a Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Contemporary Art of the State Russian Museum. A board member and a regular contributor to Khudozhestvennyi Zhurnal (Moscow Art Magazine), she is the author of over 200 publications on contemporary art, including articles in Flash Art International and ArtReview. She has curated over 30 contemporary art exhibitions at The State Russian Museum (Saint Petersburg), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Pori Art Museum (Finland) among other venues. She was the curator of the Russian Pavilion at the 48th Venice Biennale.

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