The Red Mountains


Concrete, metal

Reconstructions of pedestrals from monuments by Ivan Kavaleridse: Artjom Monument, Bakhumt (Ukraine), 1926; Artjom Monument, Svjatohirsk (Ukraine), 1927; Taras Schewchenko Monument, Poltava (Ukraine), 1925. Photo: Klaus Pichler. © mumok.

Kavaleridze’s sculptures of heroes on plinths are transformed by Kadan into sculptural plinths without heroes. He draws attention to the plinths themselves and thus extrapolates their avant-gardism. He places their modernity and their avant-garde features “on a pedestal,” as it were, as the signs of an enlightened modernism that was doomed in an age of a worldly-wise Communism distorted by totalitarianism and authoritarianism.
In the exhibition gallery, these plinths without figures look like abstract mountains and rugged geological formations. They explicitly address the elimination of the people portrayed, or rather portray the act of elimination themselves. They do not perform any kind of preemptive acquiescence in or agreement with state despotism; they pursue a strategy of estrangement and heightened deviation. It is by means of their imagined loss that the heroes and their histories are seen anew, while their ultimate destruction would leave nothing behind except blindness to history.

Rainer Fuchs

Collection of mumok - Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien