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Bodily Space


АЕС, Brener Alexander, Gija Rigvava

June 1995



Evidetly, the entire range of problems set by bodily things rearly finds alternatives to the raional. The body speaks up when the models of the world permeated with ideology don't work any more. When in actual practice, the bodily problems have two ways to express themselves--either we speak of the body, or make the body speak for itself. To speak by means of the body means to seek a form of pronouncement outside the traditional forms of analytical discription. We have to give up casual links, narrative logics, institutionalized context and particular addressees of our communication--this is the foundation for Brener's artistic ideom with contrasting artistic system of AES. Their artistic expression, in the well-established form of professional installation, is a circumstantioal scholarly study. The body as an object makes us assume that it is a mere object of study, devoid of authenticity--a set of fragments robbed of integrity. Brener draws inspiration in the life of the body. He treats physiology as the grammer of the bodily idiom, its morphology and syntax in one. In this context, the main problem ofor an artistic system like that of AES is a discription of the body by avoiding rational structures. This makes AES accept a concept which reduces the bodily arrangement to the ultimate laconicism.

Excerpts from a catalogue

The poetic idiom of demands speaking about the body.
Evidently, the entire range of problems set by bodily things is designed to come out as an alternative to the rational. The body speaks up when ideological models of the world don't work any longer. In actual practice, the bodily problems have two ways to express themselves - either we speak of the body, or we make the body speak for itself. In the arts, the group chose the first, and Alexander Brener the second.
To speak by means of one's body means to seek a form of pronouncement outside the traditional forms of analytical description. We have to give up causal links, narrative logics, institutionalized contexts and particular addressees of our communication.
Brener's artistic idiom, imagery and philosophy of the body rest on these premises. The contrasting artistic system of - a system of speaking about the body -cannot but accept causal logics and traditional institutions. Their artistic expression, in the well-established form of professional installation, is a circumstantial scholarly study. Brener's work presupposes the existence of the body as such - as a spectacle, while means to demonstrate the body as an object.
The treatment of the body as an object makes us assume that the body is a mere object of study, devoid of authenticity - a set of fragments robbed of integrity, cleaned of all intrinsic features of an organic being, such as texture, smell, or physiological functions, and portrayed as an immaculate luminous surface.
Brener, on the other hand, draws inspiration in the life of the body. He treats physiology as the grammar of the bodily idiom, its morphology and syntax in one. He cherishes the bodily integrity as necessary for speaking by means of one's body. In this instance, the artist and his flesh achieve total mutual identity.
In this context, the main problem for an artistic system like that of is a description of the body by avoiding rational structures. The group sees the only way to do it in bringing out these structures in their utmost purity. By demonstrating a body, they at the same time display the means and procedure of its description. This makes accept a concept which reduces the bodily arrangement to the ultimate laconicism. The body as an object is structured according to the principle of the obvious: a skull, feet, openings, etc. The ontology of the body is reduced to the greatest possible simplicity - the skin, the cold and the hot. In other words, the artistic concept of preserves rational procedures only inasmuch as its actual task is to destroy the rational principle.
Brener, when he turns to the body, seeks to reveal its hidden power for communication. Rooted in the preter-rational, this power is, with him, endowed with the status of an essence and an universal scope, which both enable it to produce entirely new utterances.
Unlike him, do not think an utterly novel utterance is at all possible. Anything new can be produced only through an appeal to the established. This strips the utterances of of their essence, demonstrating that the essence per se is impossible. So the universal scope of utterances made by is devoid of an essence, and they are mere descriptive designata, also robbed of integrity. It is quite enough for to demonstrate the phenomenological variety of the bodily surface when the group means to impart an universal status on its utterance. artists may bring the number of component parts of their works to the minimum or the maximum - but their essence will stay unchanged. Also quite different are the ways to make an utterance authentic. Brener's talking body confirms its words by itself and through itself - by pain, blood, injury, etc. The installations of do not respond to the trials and torments of flesh by feeling but merely demonstrate them. In keeping with a point in their programme, their message does not claim to be authentic. This is why - paradoxically - this message is perceived as authentic. The two artistic systems reveal themselves to the world in contrasting modalities. Brener can take up any topic as a starting point for his work, provided he thinks this topic important. Unlike him, installations proceed only from what is in any way related to the body, even if this starting point is totally unimportant. So it is quite natural that Brener's work, as a particular instance of the bodily element, becomes part of the work of. If he chooses to address a message to, it will be the result of his personal choice.

Viktor MIZIANO. 1995

Print media on the project

"Bodily Space" by D.Silin

The artists Arzamasova, Evzovich and Sviatskii make Group. They joined their initials in 1987. Since then they have been displaying their works as a group... The Body is their occupation, the man is their subject matter-- the man which can be measured, divided into pieces, photographed, whose each part can be enlarged. The man is represented by his body. The body is composed of its parts. It is the essence of the surgery. It is the essence of the AES group artists. From paper architecture to the study of human structure--this is AES's evolution. The artists-surgeons in the exhibit "Bodily Space" in the Central Artists' House are three different persons which merge into a faceless body of.
"Openings are the most important parts. With their help the man and the environment can exchange their products, enjoy their own life. Independent fragments form two bodies: male and female--on the right and on the left from the entrance..."

"Anatomy Transformed into Geography"
By M.Bode. "Commersant-Daily" No.105. 08.06.95

"For five-odd years the body has been prepared in art exhibitions and in special press. Earlier and more so in the West, later and less so at home. There, it was done with cool aloofness, here, with passionate enthusiasm".
At first sight, the installation of the group "Surface of the Body" is surgical, but, as a matter of fact, it is therapeutic, or even psycho-therapeutic".

"From Museums to Banks" STAS MAGAZINE No.2, 1995

"The Exhibit 'Bodily Space'" demonstrated the latest of anthropometric projects of ... in poetic setting of the body-artist Alexander Brener and not less acclaimed video master Gia Rigvava. Though, as it was stated in the Catalogue by Victor Miziano "the range of problems set by bodily things is designed to come out as an alternative to the rational", a serious essay by V.Podoroga "The Body, Anatomy and the World of Objects" inclined the viewers to respectful observation and deep comprehension".



12.12.1995
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