Anna Bochkova at Künstlerhaus Sootbörn in Hamburg. ‘Silent Places’ is a site-specific project of Anna Bochkova dealing with the architecture, the infrastructure and eventually - the death of modernist utopia.
Anna Bochkova: Silent Places
6 - 18 February, 2021
Künstlerhaus Sootbörn, Hamburg
[inside the box] is a project initiated and run by the artists of the Künstlerhaus Sootbörn. Invited artists exhibit in a self-made white-cube, situated in the entrance hall of the Kuenstlerhaus Sootboern in Hamburg.
The todays artists’ studio and art venue Kuenstlerhaus Sootboern is a former school building designed by the Bauhaus architects Ernst and Wilhelm Langloh in 1927. After the construction of the nearby Hamburg Airport in 1950, the school had lost 2 floors due to the airport security measurements, and soon, because of the unbearable noise by the planes, it got closed down. This house is surrounded by a cemetery from one side and the airstrip from another. In this paradox area, the school building implements a ghost of modernism which has recorded social and infrastructural changes in itself as well as its own death. The house is not only a monument but also a physical archive of intangible memories and actions.
These aspects find a reflection within Anna Bochkova’s sculptural intervention. Silent Places is an archive on its own, showing algorithms of suburban landscapes in different post socialist countries: the absolute silence of panel construction quarters which are situated in suburban areas. The quality of the utopian concept of socialism which stayed there is the silence of unspoken fears, the silence of point on no return, the silence of unfulfilled desires and hopes.
Within this white cube which protrudes in the school’s assembly hall we can observe the references to modernist avant-garde movements such as constructivism, suprematism and rationalism (floor pieces), which are opposed to the mapping analyses of algorithmic social housing panel block which are the true body of the most eastern cities (wall pieces).
The show of Anna Bochkova is soaked with the metamodern, it oscillates between the enthusiasm of modernism and postmodern mockery, between hope and melancholy, between simple-heartedness and awareness, empathy and apathy, unity and plurality, wholeness and splitting, clarity and ambiguity, creating a kind of conceptual oxymoron.