Dovecotes and mausoleums

“Every building has a cultural aspect and if we decide to notice it, then we observe the building as architecture”
Andrew Ballantyne. Architecture

“No theoretical constructs can explain architecture. Architecture is still the synonym of mystery”
Konstantin Mel’nikov (from his diaries)

Imperfection, which conceals the surrounding world, or more often joyously highlights it, overwhelmingly annoys ordinary people. On the contrary, for an artist, this imperfection is a source of endless happy surprises. It happens that while the artist is looking for these “samples of imperfection”, he gets ready to overcome obstacles, which could be space, time, overgrown weeds on an abandoned cemetery or a lot of construction garbage which closes the entrance to a resettled yard in the centre of Moscow (another victim of the admirers of “perfect shapes”)… 

The artist Ekaterina Rozhkova doesn’t require a shape to be necessarily perfect. Perhaps for this reason she is attracted by the so called “folk architecture”. It is absolutely irrelevant for her whether buildings and constructions, which are sometimes very bizarre, are beautiful or not from a professional point of view. They are unique and thus essential for the world. “I travelled a lot across Asia and Siberia. What I have seen in Kyrgyzstan really amazed me. I was in a fantastical landscape, built up with mausoleums, each of which was unrepeatable. They were built in different epochs. Some towers resembled Stalin’s skyscrapers, others were similar to domes of mosques, others combined signs of archaism and futurism. A skeleton of a yurt made of iron rods and another yurt with the same shape molded from concrete. I was wandering around them and thinking about the unknown authors of these monuments. Brodsky wrote very accurately about Asia:
“…when you shudder at how infinitesimally small you are,
remember: space that appears to need nothing does
crave, as a matter of fact, an outside gaze,
a criterion of emptiness — of its depth and scope.
And it’s only you who can do the job”
This is how this series of ghostly mausoleums transferred to canvases came into being. However, the topic is still developing. Ekaterina Rozhkova found a continuation of this world on the outskirts and the waste grounds of Moscow. “Moscow dovecotes are another unique example of the fantasy of simple people and of the disappearing nature in general. Hammered together from old doors, window frames, corrugated iron, grids, they are com-pleted objects. And also their “Soviet cyan colour”… Between the three main traditional colours, dovecotes are painted with it — not with the saturnine red colour (too common), not with the protective green (chromium oxide), but precisely with this third colour which is life-affirming and positive…because they are dovecotes…”

Ekaterina Rozhkova