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Response to Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International Conceived in the Mood of Ambivalence

Flux Factory (old location)
3838 43rd Street, 718-707-3362
Long Island City
December 1 - December 22, 2006
Reception: Friday, December 1, 7 - 10 PM
Web Site

A show that asks, `What would Tatlin’s Tower be like if it was an ongoing construction in a 1,500-square-foot room with 12-foot ceilings and was designed to be a nice place to spend a day in?’

Well, it’s quite a monument. Of course, it isn’t a monument at all, having never been built. But it is a striking and impressive idea for a monument. The model for it alone is unforgettable in pictures and drawings. It is a bold piece of work. Lacking any definitive function, it is the testament to a need, a desire, a concept. Pushing the very boundaries of human technological capacity at the time, it could only have been built using the newest methods in metal engineering and construction. It is an optimistic monument. You cannot look at the monument without thinking of the future and of human possibility. It is solid and dynamic at the same time. It portrays movement with purpose. It is beautiful.

Why `conceived in the mood of ambivalence’?

It is all form and no content. It is the idea of human possibility without any articulation of what human possibility actually looks and feels like. With so much life, it is dead. It is an ideal monument in the good sense, but in the bad sense as well. There’s no debate in it, no place for the contested milieu of civil society. It can’t be amended or changed, it just is. It would have to exist outside the boundaries of day to day urban life; alone, infinite, empty.

What do we mean by `response’?

Our monument will be Tatlin’s monument plus all the mess of lived experience. It’s the `hands-on’ approach to utopia. It will change and transform during its lifetime according to the fights and discussions and ideas of the people who interact with it. And so, it will have a beginning and an end. It will be finite. To put it simply, our tower will be the kind of place you’d actually want to spend some time in. It will have a cafĂ©. It will have a room for napping. And still, it will gesture to something beyond what we are now, to a better version of ourselves that we still hope to attain, whether or not we know how.

Artists Briony Barr Mikey Barringer Ranjit Bhatnagar Jason David Brown Mikala Hyldig Dal Daupo Marie-Eve Jetzer Nick Normal Emma MacKinnon Ian Montgomery Ana Portela Annie Reichert Ksenya Samarskaya Matthew Slaats
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