References: The Drawings of Brodsky & Utkin

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

In the past few days, I have been carefully studying the etchings of Russian artists/architects Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin. Their collection of fantastical etchings produced between 1978 and 1993 comments on social-political realities through fictional architecture.

Alexander Brodsky and Ilya Utkin, Untitled (Dome of Ladders), 1989-90, etching. I was particular intrigued by the flexible and playful manner in which they adopt architectural drawing conventions. Technical representation methods are deployed to evoke buildability and real-life relevance, but they take on considerable artistic licence in order to retain the poetry of fiction.

Such ambiguity situated their work in an ideal position for social critique. It has a claim to reality that allows the project access to the social discourse, whilst also allowing escape to the fictional to avoid censorship and persecution.

Brodsky and Utkin’s drawings deals with issues of narrative, strangeness, historical symbols and social commentary that are highly relevant to my project. In the coming days, I would like to investigate ways to take on their approach in dealing with the topic of Otherness.

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