Performance at the memorial appartment museum of Anna Akhmatova. The cabinet of Nikolai Punin
Two poets Dmitry Golynko and Alexander Skidan as well as philosopher Alla Mitrofanova reconstruct the Tatlin’s Tower also known as the Monument to the Third International using books as building blocks. As they do so, they reflect on the avant-garde concepts of Nikolai Punin. Their task is to choose books which can sustain both the intellectual and physical strain of the tower. Accompanying them with accordion music is Vadim Khokhryakov, a storyteller and musician, who also quotes Punin’s articles, diaries and correspondence throughout the performance.
Nikolai Punin, an ideologist of Petrograd avant-garde art and was one of the closest friends and colleagues of Tatlin. Punin wrote the descriptions of all of Tatlin’s works until the mid-nineteen twenties. The description of the one of the most famous pieces of Russian twentieth century art, Tatlin’s Tower, a symbol of both the October Revolution as well as the avant-guard idea of a merger of art and life, belongs to Punin. The room in which the performance takes place is most likely the place where he would have written it.
The flat that Nikolay Punin, his family, Anna Akhmatova, Lev Gumilev, Punin’s nanny, her son and his family inhabited from early 1920-ies could be seen as the whole Soviet project in miniature in terms of how aesthetics, politics, ideologies and ways of life, material circumstance of the habitat were interwoven and modifying through decades.