Yuri Avvakumov (born 1957 in Tiraspol, Moldova; lives and works in Moscow, Russia).
In the mid-1980s Avvakumov produced a series of sculptural works titled “Temporary Monuments,” commemorating the constructivist art and architecture of the 1920s. Worker and Farmer International is a reference to Vera Mukhina and Vladimir Tatlin: the skeleton of Mukhina’s Worker and Collective Farm Girl (1937) rests within Tatlin’s Monument to the Third International (1919-20), socialist realism inside constructivism.
“An avant-garde architect in the present day Soviet Union of course cannot build. Thus Avvakumov practices ‘paper architecture’ of symbolic, not functional, import. Often as ironic commentary on social and political ‘models,’ Avvakumov’s models employ the formal sculptural means of constructivist architecture and the critical insight of metaphor and pun to expose human elements embedded in the work of art and politics: aspiration, frustration, staying-power and humor… As opposed to Tatlin’s dynamic and unidirectional compositions that represent a trajectory forward in space and history, Avvakumov’s constructions always are built with visual and verbal balances or alternatives—a Constuctivist design coexists with a Social-Realist [sic] design, a machine of flight is held fixed in space, a fragile house of cards is glued together, a weighty cupola is turned upside-down to become an air-balloon.”
—Michael Govan, “Temporary Monuments: Ascent and Descent,” World Architecture 15 (1991).