"Woodman & Partners" Architecture Bureau, or The Paradise Built by Me / Nestor Engelke

Nestor Engelke

"Woodman & Partners" Architecture Bureau, or The Paradise Built by Me

16 Mar - 20 Apr 2019


Professor Woodman and his bureau present this exhibition with their most significant work in all the years of the bureau's existence. The project called “Paradise” is Woodman's key piece, a beautiful and unattainable goal, an ideal architectural form, a pure symbol hanging in the air of the empty space of a typical architectural structure. The ideal place, where design is no longer needed — it is dissolved in the space above a small handful of woodchips next to a wooden palm tree. This is “Bounty Paradise”, a purely artificial backdrop to indicate the existence of a place where the professor can finally hide and indulge in contemplation while sitting on the splinters of sand, which is the only material reminder of the action that occurred, the “ax falling” as a materialization of the semantic link between action and consequence.  This is a place where the professor no longer needs to chase after an imposed goal, meet expectations, or prove a theorem that will reduce everything to nothingness.

The architectural construct as an architectural symbol has finally lost its rigid above-ground form. All that remains are the roots that have sprouted somewhere in the family nest, in the Woodman cottage of the lost ideal that our hero is struggling to return to. Unlike Woodman's previous projects, here we breathe and enjoy the complex freedom of an ephemeral construct, fantasy, or unexpected memories of that very place: the beach where the professor does not need companions or any society in general, or any sort of activity – the only accepted evidence of being engaged in "real" life.

“Toward the center of the field there is a slight mound, a swelling in the earth” say the classics. Perhaps the professor hears echoes of memory with the rustle of pages and the sound of a typewriter. He creates this mound from wood splinters — a symbolic landscape from the wreckage of a dream of the “constructive” (creating a rigid, harmonious structure). The professor sits down on this mound and stares at a single point. He is motionless. Architecture dissolves in memories, becoming a sculpture as “a kind of sitelessness, or homelessness, an absolute loss of place.” But the space comes alive again, filled with the measured breathing of a living sculpture: the professor himself. The circle closes and everything spins in a whirlwind of time loops, memories of the future and inventions of the past.


Archivists of the Woodman & Partners Architecture Bureau,

Alexander and Elizaveta Tsikarishvili