Poetics of Space
Sep 06 – Oct 16 2019

The concept soon becomes lifeless thinking since, by definition, it is classified thinking

Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space (1958)

The name of this exhibition is an homage to the iconic thesis of Gaston Bachelard, and his phenomenological study of spaces. First published in 1958, this book focuses closely on the role which memory and intuition play in the way we perceive objects and spaces. Sensual experience compliments the familiar images which surround us: daily objects such as a closet or staircase can be perceived as lyrical decorations in a performance of memories and associations.

… there is a ground for taking the house as a tool for analysis of the human soul. Our soul is an abode. And by remembering ‘houses’ and ‘rooms’, we learn to ‘abide’ within ourselves. Now everything becomes clear, the house images move in both directions: they are in use as much as we are in them…

Gaston Bachelard, The poetics of space (1958)

Bachelard’s methodology can be also used in order to analyse art. The first group exhibition of fābula gallery contains works by seven Russian artists. Painting, photography, sculpture, video art, textiles – the variety of media and techniques in the exhibition contrasts with the asceticism of the artistic message. All the works presented at the exhibition are reflections of deeply personal experiences. Spaces and objects passed through the artist’s imagination become poetry: the aesthetic component in them is separated from the conceptual, and the intuitive from the logical.

The true experience of space, according to Bachelard’s theory, can only be happy, since it is an act of creation and creativity liberates. Colour masses in the abstract works of Irina Starzhenetskaya and Elena Minaeva, the poetry of the material in the objects of Anatoly Komelin, Irina Zatulovskaya and Anna Kuznetsova – these exhibited works engage with each other and the historical interior surrounding them, creating that alchemy of the ‘peaceful space’, glorified by Bachelard.