Empty home

Пустой дом_5“Empty house” (installation, 2014)
Artem Filatov, Vova Chernyshev
IV Moscow Biennial for Young Art, Museum of Moscow

The value placed by most Russians on wooden architecture has seen a radical decline. In the historic centers of towns and cities, wood has already given away to multi-storey concrete and glass buildings, as well as people move away from their native villages, leaving their houses. The old way of life and sensibility has become an ethnographic curiosity and is quickly fading into oblivion. Wood – the most natural of materials – consciously or unconsciously is rendering itself back to nature, to its original chaos. A wooden house is only part of vanishing world, now almost forgotten, of which only traces remain – artifacts, secrets and treasures that hardly anyone needs. 
This work, a wooden structure in the museum space, is constructed out of specially collected materials that include genuine fragments of old houses that have been destroyed and abandoned.  It therefore becomes a representation of all wooden structures and their connections to the real world. To one person a wooden building is an architectural monument, to another it is a historical artifact, while someone else sees it as a paradigm of harmony and craftsmanship, and yet another enjoys contemplating the process of resigned dilapidation and decay – an exquisite melancholy based on transience and imperfection that in Japan is characterized by the notion “wabi-sabi”.

The materials for the house were collected in Nizhegorodskaja region – in villages Chud, Martushiha, Monakovo, Istomino and Mogilitsi, as well as in the city of Nizhny Novgorod. Building the house it was necessary for us to keep the surface, made of different wooden logs, natural, matching the color and texture.
You can visit the exhibition till 10 August at Museum of Moscow (Zubovdki bulevard 10)


We want to thank all, who helped us to build this house: curator of IV Moscow Biennial for Young Art – David Elliott, executive director of NCCA – Michael Midlin, executive director of Nizhny Novgorod NCCA – Anna Gor, Natalia Gerasina, Olga Ladutenko, Nikolai Molok, Alexander Kuritsin, Olesia Gritsenko, Masha Molianova, Sasha and Nazar, and Dima Baranov and Faina Ynusova.