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Monument to a Scientific Error

Kallio Library, Helsinki, Finland


The work is a literarisation of a metaphoric title of the article by Victor Shklovsky, in which he publicly abjures his Formalist method. 

Shklovsky’s Monument to a Scientific Error (1930) was published in the atmosphere of the nascent Stalinist ideological regulation of both Soviet literature and scientific life, and has usually been interpreted as a capitulation. However, Shklovsky’s gesture was a tricky one: he turned public penitence into a ‘memorial’ to an alleged 'guilt', conceptually heightening 'error', and ironically lowering 'monument'.

The sculpture is a sort of a tautological comment to Shklovsky’s statement: monument to the monument. The task was to invent a shape, ambiguous enough to make a conversation between Formalism and Realism possible. The central element, the circular wired line is shaping the contour of an allegedly human corpus, a body, a kind of a fat torso; at the same time, what that wire line really does is it only circles a void in the middle of the object.

The work was commissioned by TOK Curators, and made in collaboration with Gregoire Rousseau.

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