Research and exhibition project on Moscow-ness

4. Exhibition design



Research exposition ‘Protivochuvstvie’ at the XX International Architecture Exhibition ‘ARCH-Moscow’

We have an ever-growing collection of images, materials and shapes that stimulates the creative process and awakens inspiration. For the ArchMoscow exhibition in 2015 we decided to pick those items of the collection that had to do with our Moscow projects and organize them in accordance with the principles of ‘schizophrenic systematization’. The idea of our showcase was to deconstruct “Moscowness” and reorganize the elements to build a certain compendium that would convey our perception of the city, its architecture and its character.

The exhibition project — ‘Protivochuvstvie’ — was named after a distinct psychological effect, discovered by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. It is a pre-cathartic state, provoked by mutually opposed emotions caused by an artwork, or, to be more precise, by the contradiction between its form and its content.

Moscow, as any other megacity, is a city of contrasts. We wanted to take a step further than simple pointing out the obvious socio-economical and aesthetic disparities: we wanted to bring out the less visible contradictions buried in materials, geometry, ideas and so forth. The stand itself was designed as a square white bureau with many drawers of various widths and depths, so that viewers could pull them out and examine their contents.

The showcase might have looked chaotic at first but upon closer examination the viewer would start seeing the logic behind the chaos. All the objects were thematically arranged and a narrative would emerge as the exhibits were viewed in a prescribed order. Each of the presented themes (Materiality, Geometry, Ornament, Contradictions and Narrative) revolved around or contained a binary opposition — a prerequisite for the phenomenon of protivochuvstvie.

Read the book about the project

Technical partnership — Macrofabrica