"Purists, applied artists, productional mystics", a slogan (or reproach) applied by one group of Russian Futurists to another.
executed in spray paint on paper ca. 1986
WORLDBACKWARDS, 1986. A three-part piece, using images of a city (Sao Paulo?) appropriated from National Geographic, overlaid with titles (painted in red) of Russian Futurist books, using the original typography.
enlarged reproduction of an illustration from a book on Russian revolutionary art, a contemporary photograph of the theatrical spectacle The Storming of the Winter Palace, performed in the early 1920's, with the word 're-enactment' added,
1986, 263 x 380 cm. Below is the original illustration, shown at the same scale.
I made this piece in 1987 and gave it the pretentious title "Subject to Object and Object to Subject", using "Subject to" and "Object to" as verbs. The object photographed was a piece by the Soviet artist Puni (or Pougny) which I reproduced from the cover of an issue of Artforum. The right hand side of this two-part piece was a pencil drawing on paper - a sort of bastardized Constructivist piece. The work was sold to the BKR and was eventually returned to me, but minus the right-hand panel which ended up in an art lending library.
This piece was made in 1989 and uses images of the eyes of Lenin, his mistress Inessa Armand and his wife Krupskaya, all taken from Michael Pearson's book "The Sealed Train".
Pearson comments: "It was in Paris in 1910 that the Troika was joined by a new comrade - Inessa Armand - whose impact on Lenin was traumatic. She was thirty-one, a striking woman with untidy chestnut hair, dark gray eyes and an electric personality. Like most of the revolutionary women, she wore severe unfeminine clothes. Completely fluent in five languages, she played the piano brilliantly and possessed an intellect that led to a rapport with Lenin he had known with no other woman in his life."
Untitled, 1989, 3 photographs, each 60 x 50 cm., 1989. Purposively blurred Soviet photographs (1928-33) reproduced from 'A History of Photography', ed. Lemagny & Rouillé (Cambridge University Press, 1987). Fading echoes of a utopian dream.