The valise proposes a kind of imaginary situation of an urban scenario, a possible small city and contemporarily a set of vertical and abstract sculptures. Like a handbag where one carries one’s personal belongings, in this small working bag you carry your surrealistic landscape, a way of seeing reality, made with simple and stereotyped sculptural operations of shapes and geometric elements. Those operations and these forms offer another way of seeing the world we inhabit by interpreting buildings as a series of small stacked prisms, interlocked manmade constructions on the verge of falling. A system of euphoric and primitive constructions that hide an extreme fragility behind a presupposed solidity.
The artefacts enclosed are made with objects and elements extracted from our daily life, with humor and irony, the micro is imaginatively converted into the macro. A commentary on how everything we do, build, and the places we inhabit are no more than arbitrary and absurd constructions that can easily belong beyond the realm of the real into the imaginary and dream. We live with the burden of a supposed reality and function of things, which in my view can lose their immediate meaning and enter into a more magical plane allowing us to momentarily detach from traditions and conventions. We must never lose the fantasy of a life lived through an infinity of senses. This is the valise that always accompanies me, a collection of pseudo-magical constructive rituals that allow me to still see and inhabit freedom.
How do you define inspiration?
Inspiration is everything that motivates us or that leads us to change it, modify it, rethink it constantly.
What are your micro-tools? Are these fixed or do these changes for very project?
My micro-tools are the city, the economy, the home, the history of art, the architecture, conventions, absurdity, humor, reality and fiction, just to say some of them. All are activated simultaneously, more or less some according to each project, but I am always interested in the relationship between”micro-tools” or “internal software”.
How do you collect and archive these tangible moments of inspiration?
I archive these moments with memory, observation, photos and videos, notebooks, annotations, drawings and above all by collecting, classifying and editing objects and materials, by form, by type, by material.
What is your take on the role of image platforms within the creative process?
This is absolutely the age of platforms of images and more images, and I find it extremely enriching in regard to collective thinking, where you can see a wide spectrum of action and natural intuition of people over the present, the past and the future. In the daily work process, through these platforms, you see the ideas that circulate regionally and globally and connect in unexpected, unusual points, and thus uncover realities much more unknown in relation to what usually surrounds us. However, we have to learn, as a sport, to understand all that information in the way that best suits our practice, we have to train the arrival of information, and take advantage of it. Like the sport of watching things live, and not through a screen.
What is your relationship to these? How and to what extent do you use these?
I use the digital image platforms in a very light way, I see Instagrams, some websites of artists, architects, institutions or exhibitions. I also have a collection of books, especially about sculpture. In my computer I also have folders of works that interest me, of other people, and also another folder of photographs about situations, things or landscapes that interest me for some specific reason. When I’m working in my studio, I do not use digital platforms in a direct way, only in cases I need to look for a particular material or some type of information of this nature.In general, the view of the platforms parallels the creative processes, but I don’t consider them work tools when I’m doing works, I do consider them tools when it comes to divulgation.
How and to what extent has the mediation of architecture through social tools as Instagram impacted the very practice of this?
In my case my work is about installation and sculpture, flirting in a very free way with architecture. I am interested in quoting in my works the history of architecture and art in an ironic and humorous way, taking away all the solemnity, elegance or austerity that many times can be seen in many current architectural practices. But I couldn’t answer how the architecture seen on Instagram affects the same discipline.
How do you as an architect approach the idea of ‘instagrammable’ architecture?
I believe the idea of “instragramable architecture” can be equated to the idea of “instagramable art”, “instagramable food”, “instagramable fashion”, “instagramable landscape”, etc., etc. The common pattern that unifies the “instragamable” is often evident quickly, and it is useful when thinking about how ideas are homogenized with the speed of light, why and for what. In my work I’m particularly interested on working and glimpsing the obvious and stereotypes, and for these specific cases, the “instagramable” is an immediate demonstration of this type of issues which I’m studying.
Is this new accessibility to architecture productive?
As a spectator and eternal curious of the work of architects and urban planners, of course this new accessibility is productive.
How do you choose to mediate the work of your practice through social tools as Instagram?
I don’t have a very detailed and prolix criterion about the use of social networks in relation to my work and it is not a commercial company or a research platform, so I find it more difficult to conceive a social network only for my sculptures because they arise from everything lived.
In the period that Facebook was used even more, I had taken the strict decision to don’t upload photos of works, but only invitations to shows or open studios, among other things. I didn’t like the relationship between the format and how the work looked there. When I started having Instagram, I started to upload more things gradually, but I had a private profile. Since last year I decided to make it public and to change this self-rule, because I began to realize that a network like Instagram lasts a short time, and in that sigh of time to show what you do is useful for several issues, through current media. This was especially in March 2018 when I did the installation “Cloudburst”, in London, because I felt that it was so far from my city and it had been the most arduous job I had done so far, so I put aside modesty and the question about egocentricity I used to have always in my mind. I decided to publish a huge record of the work, many points of view, in any time of the day and pictures of the people who visited it.
But simultaneously to my work, I also show anything from everyday life, which does not necessarily is in relation with my sculpture work, but in connection with it too. My website is in the process of construction, but I have a blog since many years ago where I upload photos when I finish a show or a piece. It is www.irinakirchuk.tumblr.com, and this is useful when I’m looking for a work quickly, It’s like an online cataloging of works.