کورا / Cura*; The Rise and Fall of Aplasticism




4th Moscow Biennial

Solyanka State Gallery

Curated by Katya Krylova



Day I [7 pm – midnight]

The audience enters Malevich’s room in ‘0, 10: the Last Futurist Exhibition of Painting’† two by two.

Lights off. Pause. Lights on: All paintings and papers seen in the famous photo are removed. Their nails and traces on walls and a chair are what are left of Malevich’s room. The performer is sitting on the chair. He is speechless, hooded, dressed all in black. Only two holes are made in his costume, one for the mouth and one for the wound to the left of his abdomen. The wound is a sentence in Braille cauterised on his body. He stretches his hand out to the viewers, takes their index fingers and leads them to touch the wound and read the script from left to right. When they touch the embossed dots, lights go off. Some visitors stay for a few moments, a few much longer. A few don't take the performer’s hand. Some merely touch the wound for a few moments, some caress it for a long time. When they stop, lights go back on. Since most of the actions take place in absolute darkness and there is nearly nothing to see, little visual documentation could be made.



* Latin. “cure, care, heed, remedy, preserving meat by salting”. Curator: from L. curator “overseer, manager, guardian,” from curatus, pp. of curare.

'Cura/کورا' in Persian means 'the blind'.

Room’s structure follows the photo and hence is triangular. Malevich himself  had noted that the photo of ‘The Last Futurist Exhibition’ had become more important than his Suprematist paintings:

I must admit I didn't have any previous plan for my, as you now say, "installation". It was purely accidental. I only knew that the Black Square must be in the top corner. Everything else was irrelevant. While I was hanging my small Suprematist paintings here and there, it didn't occur to me that the photo of this installation would become so famous and be published in hundreds of books, reviews. And today it is even "quoted" in the paintings by one of my colleagues. I don't remember now who actually took this picture, but it is just a photo, black and white. No colours! I have an impression that this photo is becoming even more important than my Suprematist paintings! This was the major reason I kept on thinking for years to do the same exhibition again.





Day II [5 – 6:30 pm]

A surgeon sitting on the chair; the performer lying before her. The skin with the brailled sentence and the flesh beneath are removed. No general or local anesthesia could be done. Viewers enter two by two and three by three. Light on throughout the operation.




Day III – Day X [5 pm- 10 pm]

The removed skin and flesh are cured inside a frame filled with salt. The picture has the same size as Malevich’s Black Square (1915), hung on its original place, the Red/Beautiful Corner. Water and blood drip from the frame till the salt and flesh dry. Viewers enter at their own will. Light on throughout the act. Chair empty.



photos by Sergey Morozov (Solyanka State Gallery) and the artist




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