Antifurniture by Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich

at Bienal do Mercosul

On Thursday, Sept 15th, Fyodor's new project antifurniture is opening as a part of Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre in Casa de Cultura Mario Quintana (ground floor hall). It will be a world premier of the first 3 objects of the collection. 

Antifurniture by Fyodor Pavlov-Andreevich with architect Olga Treivas

Artist’s’ statement:

The human body is capable of sitting, laying down, standing and leaning. These actions are typically purely practical, but the body has the fascinating ability to turn these mundane behaviors into gestures, imbuing these routine and mechanical motions with sacred meaning. In this, our quotidian bodies take a cue from ornate furniture as these actions begin to celebrate the human body, supplementing its pragmatic functions with a new mission to locate itself in space. It goes beyond the creation of new geometries and anatomies to forge and celebrate new relationships with its observers.

Antifurniture fulfills my childhood dream of a fairground, Moscow’s Sokolniki Park, where the priests and priestesses of the Czech Socialist Republic, wearing indifferent faces and chewing the bubblegum about which a Soviet child could only dream, would open their sanctuary gates to reveal a tunnel of terrors, a bumper car track or a procession of funhouse mirrors to these starving children, mouths agape and convinced that the creatures awaiting them were indeed divine.

Sadly, they would discover a world beyond these gates that could never live up to their expectations. The plain, ascetic message behind Antifurniture is similar: entertainment is not necessarily what we expect it to be. This illusion of pleasure may suddenly collapse, becoming a wearisome, even physically taxing endeavor. Created in collaboration with architect Olga Treivas, Antifurniture explores this dissonance, creating a theme park whose attractions either place the body out of step with its surroundings or make those circumstances outright uncomfortable.

These objects maintain the illusion of furniture when viewed from a distance, but any semblance of practicality fades away upon closer inspection. For this reason, visitors are welcome, and indeed encouraged, to submit their bodies to the circumstances that Antifuniture creates: objects that immediately transform into sculptures on first contact with the human body.

Placed in one of Antifurniture objects, a human body automatically becomes a body of endurance, a body of mistreatment, a political body — or even a body of war, which became particularly important as of February 24, 2022.

The objects for multiple participants refer to the depersonalized bodies of the dark days, to those nameless humans that beat the track of the body of war into political history. The delicate relationship between an obvious entertaining element and the sadness of the human body’s fragility and transiency brings the visitors experiencing Antifurniture to the new understanding of their own physicality as well as of the strings connecting the routine body to the body of statement.
September 17, 2022