Process of Passing
Implemented at the “Ordzhonikidze” cultural center, Ekaterinburg, as part of the special project “From Production to Creation” at the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art
Nominated by the Ural Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Arts
The gigantic spatial installation “Process of Passing” was created in Ekaterinburg for the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art. It transformed the space of an abandoned concert hall of “Ordzhonikidze” cultural center into the temple of the bygone era. The Constructivist building employed by the installation was originally designed as a huge communal kitchen meant to put an end to the petit-bourgeois everyday cooking routine; it was later transformed into a workers’ club named after Stalin and subsequently became the Uralmash Plant Palace of Culture.
In his work, Ivan Plusch suggested a fundamentally new way of working with Soviet cultural heritage. Despite the obvious analogue with the total installations by Ilya Kabakov, the temporality of Plusch’s work is utterly different. It is not a re-creation of an epoch through the prism of individual memory, nor is it an appropriation of the Soviet style in order to broadcast current artistic ideas. Plusch returned the half-ruined concert hall of the proletarian palace of culture to its former visual glory, yet he did not mask its destruction and even brought it to the foreground. The bygone era continues to decay, yet paradoxically the decay does not deconstruct its transcendent dimension, but emancipates it from the historically-accidental. As a result, the “sublated” ideology in Plusch’s work effectively conveyed the sense of the current historical moment, when the very distinction between the Soviet and the post-Soviet unexpectedly lost its significance.