Yuri Avvakumov. Red Galley. 1989


Yuri Avvakumov is a founding member and theorist-in-chief of a group of Russian conceptual artists called the ‘Paper Architects’. This group graduated from the Moscow Architecture Institute in the early 1980s and, frustrated by the conservatism of their profession in Russia and the shortage of funds for new building, they turned instead to entering competitions sponsored by western and Japanese architectural journals, where their fantastic and unrealiseable schemes won them international acclaim. The term ‘Paper Architecture’ was a derogatory one applied to the unrealistic dreams of the revolutionary avant-garde of the early twentieth century. Red Galley – functions as an agitprop wagon too – is a galley for 40 oarsmen and one lookout/helmsman. Each seat provided with an oar, and each oar passes through the construction of the wagon wall. When oarsmen begin rowing in concert (on command), the galley begin to swing inside the wagon, thus turning into a menacing battering ram. 



Yuri Avvakumov. Red Galley. 1989. Silkscreen on original newspaper. 40 x 63 cm. Edition 12/25.


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