Matthieu Martin

Precautionary principle

by Agata Iordan, Elena Iushina

Matthieu Martin, a young French artist, is best known to the Russian audience for his project in Yekaterinburg within the 2nd Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art. For the Ural, Matthieu has managed to give a new life to the White Tower (architect M. Reisher, 1928-1931) – a monument of constructionism that has lost its beauty under numerous letterings and blurbs. Guests of APERTO gallery will be given an opportunity to see the “Refresh the Revolution” video that shows the moment of restoration of the initial color and designation of the White Tower. In St. Petersburg Matthieu has referred to the building of the Red Banner Textile Factory power station (architect E. Mendelsohn, 1925–1926). Through his usual aesthetics of conceptual gesture, he was aimed to draw attention of the society to the problem of preservation of monuments which belong to the cultural heritage both in space and time. He has also raised questions about the renewal and redefining processes of the urban space. Besides the records on this project APERTO gallery will present the result of artistic intervention to the life of this legendary building. The conceptual gesture here is the reflection to the topic of an attitude towards cultural artifacts and creation of a situation when they are relocated from the context of an industrial building to the white cube space of the gallery. Within “The Precautionary principle” exhibition in APERTO gallery the new graphics will be shown where the author addresses the subject of “precautions” in the museum space of Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin.
In the environmental ethics there is the concept of the precautionary principle, which is “widely used by states in accordance with their capabilities” in order to protect the environment (from the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development 92 (Principle 15). The question raised by the artist, is about to what extent are states ready to protect their cultural values, how extensively are they ready to use their capabilities to maintain the purity of meanings and ideas embodied in the monuments of architecture. In ecology, the « lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as an excuse for postponement of effective measures in terms of cost. » All sorts of excuses and delays regarding the cultural heritage lead to irreversible losses of valuable objects of the « second nature.

The catalogue below was published on the occasion of « Precautionary Principle » solo exhibition at Aperto Gallery, Saint Petersburg in 2013.

Graphic design : Atelier Kobuchi

 

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