Misha Leikin: born in 1968 in Volgograd. Graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute.
Masha Sumnina: born in 1977 in Moscow. Graduated from the Moscow Printing Institute (presently Moscow State University of Printing Arts).
Active as a duo since 1999, living and working in Moscow.

Construction Set for David Hume

In 2020, reality was particularly inventive in showing us how little it cares for our assumptions and predictions. Producing mental constructs means fitting and matching different elements — our erudition, upbringing, hormonal balance, experiences, secret desires, the books we read, the friends we have on Facebook, what we had at lunch, how much sleep we got last night, etc. We keep piling these elements on top of each other, like an elephant on top of a tortoise, trying to construct an image of the world. This thought had been formulated by both Plato and David Hume. But unlike Plato, Hume does not suggest any way out of the cave — all we know, he says, are simply sequences of observable actions, not cause-and-effect relationships. We have made 24 towers out of random elements accumulated over the years, finding subjective connections between them — formal, or tactile, or absurd. Sometimes we made the connections quite crudely, the glue thus becoming a prominent element of the construction. The elements — some of them durable, like iron, others subject to quick decay, like flowers, pills, and liquids — have been forcibly joined together into exquisitely ghastly Towers. After a while, they will inevitably disintegrate. Each Tower comes with a watercolour portrait, reminiscent of a sheet from a scientific atlas, which briefly describes the provenance of each element. These illustrations are meant satisfy the human need for explanation, forming a new narrative. Each Tower has a highly significant name, created using a name generator.

The installation was created in 2021 thanks to the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art for the exhibition “Assuming Distance: Speculations, Fakes, and Predictions in the Age of the Coronacene” (Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow)

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