until 20.12. | #2210ARTatBerlin | BQ Berlin shows from 20th September 2018 the exhibition Kommunalka 55 by the artists Irina Rastorgueva and Thomas Martin.
Municipal housing developed as a response to the housing crisis in urban areas. They were presented by the authorities as a product of the “new collective vision of the future”. Usually lived between two and seven families in a common housing unit. Each family had its own space, often used as a living room, dining room and bedroom for the entire family. All residents of the entire apartment shared the corridor, the kitchen (also called communal kitchen), the bathroom and the telephone (if existing). The communal apartment became the predominant form of housing for generation of people in the USSR. Examples of communal housing still exist today in “the hippest central areas of major Russian cities”.
The Great Russian Encyclopedia Populated by generations of socially differently classified residents, the Kommunalka represents an osmosis of ideology and lifestyles. Walls, wallpaper, furniture, crockery, everyday necessities are steeped in the aura of overuse. They breathe history, they tell about it. In their entirety they form a palimpsest of private life under the pressure of circumstances in the spiral of time. The Kommunalka is the forced collectivization of living in a confined space. A reflection not only of everyday life and compressed private life, and above all a mirror of society – nowhere more microcosm than here. “Kommunalka 55” is the installation of a housing opportunity, it is an exhibition exhibition. It is a reproduction of an actually existing Moscow (St. Petersburg, Samaritan, Kiev, Omsk, Yaroslavl …) Kommunalka, which is resurrected on RosaLuxemburg Square. “Kommunalka 55” records not only 100 years of Russian, but also local history. It is a commentary on the rent policy and migration situation of our day, it shows complex in a narrow space forms of ordinary life, forms of communal living, the interaction within a special set of rules against the background of a policy that has claimed the creation of a new image of man. How do I behave when the private space for retreat is also public space? With this question the fragility of living is named. In precarious situations, the boundaries between private and public space are floating, the driving man creates a new precariat. Housing is the most violent repression process of civilization. Communal kas have united people of various professions and strata, where they have shaped ways of thinking and behaving, which in turn have osmotically penetrated the ruling ideology and not least have decomposed the concept of totalitarianism. The life in the Kommunalka was installation and performance at the same time, so seen this way of life is the topic of art. Authors such as Blok, Mayakovsky, Bulgakov, Akhmatova, Brodsky lived in Kommunalkas, Ilya Kabakov wrested from life there some of his total installations.
During the three-month exhibition period, the precarious robustness of the Bermuda Triangle of Alexanderplatz, Volksbühne and Karl-Liebknecht-Haus will be debated in a series of events in cooperation with the publisher Matthes & Seitz Berlin in the gallery’s galleries.
We thank the Senate Department for Culture and Europe for the friendly support.
Opening: Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 6 – 9 pm
Exhibition period: Thursday, 20th September – Thursday, 20th December 2018
On several evenings we invite guests who will use the “Kommunalka 55” as a place for readings, performances and debates.
Image caption: Courtesy of BQ – Irina Rastorgueva + Thomas Martin
Exhibition Irina Rastorgueva + Thomas Martin – BQ Berlin | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin