Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Aleksander Komarov:
“Immersion of Reality
/ No title”,
2002 – 2004

ZBOR #34

Multimedia project, installation, photography, video

Aleksander Komarov:“Immersion of Reality/ No title”,2002 – 2004

“Shot”, photograph from the series “Palac Republik”, 2004

 

Aleksander Komarov works in various media: photography, collage, video, installation, performance, etc. All of his works are characterised by a discreet and thoughtful narrative, the scholarly approach and perfectionism.

Manipulation of reality and perception, manifestation of power and its historical transformations – these are the themes of the artist’s projects about architecture.

In his 2002-2004 series “Immersion of Reality / No title”, the main character is the Palace of the Republic in Minsk. By that time, Komarov had lived in several countries of Western Europe. Returning to Minsk and observing the Palace, he saw, on the one hand, how the monumentality of modern Minsk architecture is connected with the repressive state system, and, on the other hand, the conjectures that abounded in Western press about Belarus.

“I wanted to save the Palace in memory as an object from the past, so I began to make a model. However, it was impossible to get the plans of the Palace, so I started drawing and inventing them anew, playing a role of the architect. On one of the photos, I “cut out” the Palace’s monolith to get an idea about the volume it fills in the urban space in the immediate vicinity of the low-rise historic buildings. Another photographic montage shows an imaginary exceedingly elongated skyscraper Palace. This image does not surprise viewers, many of them consider is photographically accurate. In Europe, there are so many myths and prejudices about Belarus that photomontage distortion is easily perceived as a reflection of reality”.

 

The analogue of the Belarusian Palace is Berlin’s Palace of the Republic in Komarov’s film See You in Disneyland, 2006. Here the artist recorded and documented the mood surrounding the already dilapidated symbol of the GDR. The historical events that led to the demolition of the Palace, influenced his own biography to some extent, making possible his nomadism as an artist. “Things history threw away, I pick,” – he comments on his approach. After the exhibition in Switzerland, the model of the Berlin Palace of the Republic, which Komarov showed along with the video, has been stolen and is perhaps now someone’s private Disneyland.

The artist continues to create projects about architecture: thus, in 2007, he created the film On Translation: Transparency / Architecture Acoustique about the transparent dome of the Reichstag and its symbolism.

Aleksander Komarov (born 1971, Grodno, Belarus) – artist, director of ABA (Artist in Residence Berlin Alexanderplatz).

Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

 

Text: Sergey Shabohin, Lena Prents, KALEKTAR ©

 

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