Abolishing family: similar to the ways in which structures of racism and patriarchy are challenged with a view of superseding them, so does the patriarchal nuclear family unit now sees emerging alternatives that envision liberation from its restricted economic base with its compulsory heteronormativity. An important novelty borrowed from historic antiracist struggles is to understand abolitionism as liberation and not mere negation or cancelling. To supplant the family is not to amputate ties, care, love, and. It is precisely the opposite. It is to liberate relationships and affections, giving them freedom beyond the principle of homophobic-wild-capitalist reality. Liberation, emancipation as graphical and plastic procedures support German Lavrovsky’s working method.
“Reborn Orphanage” is a debut solo exhibition of the artist. It conceives of futural prototyping of the relations of care and socialization using postdigital means of production. Lavrovsky here presents a project several years in gestation. It is a queer hypothesis on postsex pregnancy, materialized as a 3d printed sculpture, inserted in video and computer imagery, and supported by relational sociality. It is a germ to impregnate a socialized economy and non-patriarchal relations with a view to speculative future of gender liberation.
Taking its cue from a historical episode of psychoanalytic and feminist experimentation with non-family intimate ties and social reproduction in revolutionary Russia: memory of a globally first International Solidarity psychoanalytic kindergarten (1921–1925), founded by Vera Schmidt, including the art-nouveau mansion designed by Fyodor Schechtel where it was based. Following this precedent t “Reborn Orphanage” imagines a secret chamber, a queer playground as a hospitable space for ludic interaction, socialization, and education—differently. This century-old precedent seems newly productive in terms intellectual, when Freudian doctrine was first applied to children with the intent for post-capitalist subjectivation, and stylistic, inasmuch as biomorphic plasticity of Schechtel’s total art-nouveau design might be rescued for contemporary visuality.
Spatial and theoretical metaphors for Reborn’s environment were found in queer and feminist theory, in its introduction of modes of technology and reproduction into rethinking of the body. Homages to theory are embodied as avatars in CGI and sculpture, in a figuration that might be called “surrogate.” The exhibition is operationalized by concepts-surrogates of the following writers: Sophie-Anne Lewis, Paul B. Preciado (with Mary Kelly’s hair), Donna Haraway, Helen Hester, Sabina Spielrein.
Can abolitionist alternative by aided and allied by contemporary art? Let us suppose an embodied refusal to conform, as a rendering of alterity, as an image beyond class and gender oppression. How to envision repressive systems transformed into infrastructures for nurturing and encouraging?
— Egor Sofronov