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Peter Belyi

Danger Zone, Russia, 2009

Dry wall, glue 120/240/240 cm

Courtesy of the artist

In “Danger Zone,” Peter Belyi assumes the role of social barometer. By focusing on the Russian landscape and Soviet ruins he provides a starting point for a discussion on the nature of our history; in particular notions of authority, dictatorship and their relation to society. Through these architectural models, Belyi translates the concept of a dictatorship into an aesthetic form. Belyi states that the nature of today’s architecture and the temporariness that is instilled in it is the symbol of a society living in a disposable culture. His chosen material is plasterboard, itself inherently disposable, intended for single use, something only for the present. After the exhibition such an object can only be broken to pieces and thrown away, fully reflecting the principle that lies behind contemporary architecture – a construction that foresees no re-use. Thus, what we see appears to be an old model with lost details, covered in cracked paint and partially destroyed. Standard-plan buildings that were intended to make life modern, rational and just – prove to be a remnant for looking only to the here-and-now. Although the artist deals with a memory of the Soviet culture, one cannot avoid bringing the present into the equation. Our consciousness is being bombarded daily with images of destruction from war zones. Demolished architectural forms become symbols of power, domination and hopelessness.