This is not the first exhibition timed to coincide with the round date: in August, a joint exhibition was presented at the Art Play center.
installation by Yuri Avvakumov and Totan Kuzembaev entitled "Gravity". And if then the path of the architect from the Kazakh steppe to villas in Pirogovo and exhibitions in Venice was shown in a very allegorical way, now we have before us the most that neither is a retrospective. Kuzembaev himself calls this exhibition a "re-election report" - as always, he is joking, and after getting to know the exposition itself, you understand that he simply cannot and does not want to do otherwise.
The suite at the Museum of Architecture is an ideal setting for retrospectives. The following halls are ready-made stages of a long journey, which each of the heroes of the day only has to illustrate with appropriate works. And Kuzembaev formally observes the traditional chronological principle: first, the exhibition presents sketches, including very old, then early installations, and then pieces of furniture, buildings and graphics. However, there are no usual attributes of the jubilee exposition here - no accompanying texts, no biography of the main character, no any indication of the year of creation of this or that work. Photos of numerous buildings (occupy two halls) - and those are signed so small and short that it is easier to remember what they are called and where they are, than to bend over and look at the tiny signs. But one should hardly suspect the architect of deliberately creating inconveniences: he simply does not have time to comply with formalities and boring conventions, so such a slightly unkempt exposition is a natural consequence of Kuzembaev's creative method.
Kuzembaev creates always and out of everything, consciously and in between, transforming everything he touches. Bread crumbs, expired cereals, pages and spines of old books and magazines, wood chips, ropes, stones, sand, mineral wool - the list of materials that appear in one way or another at the exhibition can be continued almost indefinitely. The most characteristic in this sense are huge canvases in wooden frames, which the architect divides into cells and fills with substances and objects of various colors and textures, obtaining fantastically multifaceted surfaces.
They have neither a name, nor a clear everyday use - at the dacha of Kuzembaev himself, they serve as an interior decoration (and in order to bring large-scale "paintings" to the Museum of Architecture, we had to invite a whole team of movers who were able to pull them out only through the window), but initially it was just a laboratory work, the result of a tireless search for new expressive combinations and "working" contrasts. There can be no doubt that these experiments did not pass without leaving a trace: there is an obvious connection between installations made of wood chips and realizations in the same Pirogovo, and it is one thing to look for it by going from hall to hall and comparing works separated by decades. of the main pleasures of the exhibition. Lattice cocoon of stairs in
the Veer house, the wavy wooden fireplace in Makalun, the scaly roof of the Skat - all of them grew out of those carefully selected pieces of wood that Totan sometimes smoothes to a pliable wool, or makes them bristle like hedgehog needles.
There is also a wooden carpet of hundreds of tiny bars of various shapes - in tone it almost merges with the museum parquet, giving the latter an unexpected 3D effect that makes visitors suddenly change their trajectory. However, at the exhibition there are more than enough such funny "tricks": what is even an installation in the form of an endless spiral, which on closer examination turns out to be just a tightly twisted cable channel. Or, say, a huge glass frame, as if filled with molten gold, where the frame is a glass unit rejected at the construction site, and the precious metal “represents” ordinary mineral wool. “And I pick everything up,” Kuzembaev calmly confirms. - Why will it roll around, pollute nature? " True, he immediately laments that there are not many admirers of this kind of environmentally friendly art: “I constantly offer these pictures to customers, but almost all of them refuse”.
In the Totan retrospective, the most important thing is that installations - unexpected, funny and daring - not only precede a solid selection of completed objects, but also continue it. Even having become a very famous and demanded architect, Kuzembaev did not stop drawing, joking and experimenting with might and main. He weaves foil into his sheets with graphics, into the “liquid gold” of glass wool he can easily launch a flock of dried roach, and to create furniture he uses not only wood and plastic, but also pressed paper. The only thing that is not in his works is seriousness and pathos. And it seems that in the end this is what makes Kuzembaev a completely unique architect.