The river of ideas

Recently, I’ve visited Musee du quai Branly in Paris. It is a fascinating place. A stone throw from one of the most faded symbols of Paris—the Eiffel Tower (it is very difficult to take a picture of the Tower without it looking kitschy)—it offers a great piece of architecture and a great collection of artefacts related to native cultures around the world. The whole idea of this museum is to try and establish virtual communication between various cultures in different ages and places.

On the long and winding ramp leading from the entrance to the upper floors, where the permanent exhibition is located, an installation is positioned so it follows the flow. That piece, made by Charles Sandison and titled The River (2010), is an example of an excellent collaboration between architecture and visual arts. The river is made of words and the flow is perfectly in sync with the curves and the flow. One feels as if following the flow of ideas, not visual elements dancing on the floor.

The Monument to the Third International

Tatlin’s thought

The Monument to the Third International

Vladimir Tatlin has projected this building as The Monument to the Third International. It was supposed to be about 400 metres tall. I shot this image in London, a few months ago. This model was built for the purpose of an exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. But this version was, understandably, only about 15-20 m tall.

There are four elements involved in creating this construction: material, space, time and thought.

Material is the filler of the space and time, it is a means of correlating the same notion to the collective subconscious.

Space is a receptacle, a matrix which has opened to serve as the holder, as an exoskeleton. (The way I see it, the elements are not held together by the rivets, but by the space surrounding it all.)

Time is a universal locator for this phenomenon. Without the time it would be impossible to find this object in the Universe.

Thought, Tatlin’s thought, has located the construction in this particular Universe. In the narrative we call the reality, this building is an exclamation mark.