Konstantin Benkovich | Uniform

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Konstantin Benkovich “Uniform”

The exhibition Uniform is the continuation of the project Cell Structures. Studying and interpreting symbols of state (a primarily repressive mechanism) having started with flags of different countries, I naturally came look at coats of arms. Eagles, including two-headed ones, are present in the coats of arms of many countries, and two-headed eagles always in the countries that somehow lay claim to the succession of the I Rome, the one on the Tiber. For example: Austria (a fragment of the Holy Roman Empire of the German nation), tiny Montenegro, and huge Russia. These two countries additionally, each in their own way, think of themselves as the heir to II Rome, that is Byzantium. And a IV Rome, as we know, isn’t going to happen. No matter how varied the regalia which it holds in its claws or on its heads, or the outline of its wings, this double-headed bird is in fact, a very monotonous character. It has remained almost unaltered for centuries despite all the changes happening in the world around. It’s strong like a welded steel structure. That’s why I use steel armature as a sculptural material (steel rods, by the way, are a powerful symbol of aggression, they are a favourite weapon of all kinds of militant radicals, and armature goes back to the Latin word arma – ‘weapons’). I weld these bars, these steel ‘fasci’ into multi-layered structures in an attempt to distort the habitual frame of understanding this symbol of uniformity.