Columbarium Architecturae (Museum of Disappearing Buildings)

Brodsky, A & Utkin, I
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Russian artists and ‘paper architects’ Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin rejected constrained utilitarianism in the architecture of mid-century Soviet Union. Instead they produced fantastical, impossible architectural designs incorporating elements of classical mythology and science fiction, presented in the style of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century etchings.

Brodsky and Utkin’s designs, like Forum de Mille Veritas (Forum of a Thousand Truths), and Villa Claustrophobia as well as this work, were never developed to be built, but function as a form of architectural critique, answering theoretical rather than practical problems.

This work was one of more than forty etchings and two monumental installations in Brodsky and Utkin’s 1992 City Gallery Wellington exhibition. With its ominous demolition ball, grey skies, neo-classical buildings and people walking into the wind, it could almost be a Wellington city scene. This work was shown at City Gallery Wellington again in 2015 for an exhibition titled ‘Demented Architecture’ curated by Aaron Lister.

Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin met as students at the Moscow Institute of Architecture in 1972. When they graduated six years later, they opted to receive a single diploma with both their names on it as an avant-garde act. In 1993, Brodsky and Utkin ended their collaboration to pursue individual practices.
black printing ink on paper, serigraph No. 3 of an edition of 3
hxw 1080 x 770 mm (sight)
Frame: hxwxd 1158 x 860 x 38 mm, breadth 25mm
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