Audio Monument — B.R., 2018

Project realised in collaboration with Ulrich Formann.

A russian poet Boris Ryzhy, who lived in Yekaterinburg (former “Sverdlovsk”) in the Ural region is still seen as the voice of the final soviet russian generation and is referred to as “the poet of Perestroika”. Born into an intellectual family, he became a hooligan poet and a boxing champion in his teens. Although he was loved and respected by many, at the age of 26 Boris Ryzhy comitted suicide. 

I often wonder what makes a person become an artist (in the broad sense of the word). What made Boris Ryzhy become a poet, growing up in the industrial suburbs of a russian province? What made him become a poet, when most of his peers worked at a factory, were killed, or died of an overdose? When did the poet in Boris Ryzhy appear? And why? With this sounding sculpture I tried to figure it out.


The first step was to look for inspiration, so I went to a metal junkyard on the outskirts of Vienna, to find shapes and textures, which would provoke (at least visual) associations with the biographical context of the poet.


I wanted to create an object, based on contradiction — an object that would be a metaphor for seeing beauty in something repulsive. For example, an organ made out of rusty metal tubes, that could play Bach, but would sound differently. I quickly realised I needed help, at least in physical terms: the tubes were extremely heavy and it was difficult to weld them together, so I asked my friend Ulrich Formann for help in developing the idea and working on its representation. 




The outcome is a very heavy metall sculpture, with 4 speakers inside, which play russian choir singing.

We’ve managed to weld the tubes together with great help of the assistants of the University of Applied Arts metall workshop.

Ulrich Formann and Ali Bakarov (the assistant) captured in the working process.

Open House 2018, The University of Applied Arts Vienna            


Angewandte Festival 2019, The University of Applied Arts Vienna