06/24: Alexander Ermolaev - FRAGMENTs 58/00
Professor Alexander Pavlovich Ermolaev (born 1941) has a doctorate in art criticism and is a member of three creative societies: the Union of Architects, the Union of Artists and the Union of Designers.
Ermolaev studied at MARKhI from 1959 to 1964, and in 1974 at BNII for Technical Aesthetics he defended his dissertation on Socio-cultural aspects of designing the built environment. Since 1979 he has worked in MARKhI in the department of Design of the architectural environment.
Ermolaev is well known as a designer of exhibitions. His work in this area has received acclaim at museum exhibitions in Archangels, Anzhero-Sudzhensk, Pechori, Kargopol, and in numerous exhibitions in the House of Artists on Kuznetsky Most, at the Central House of Artists, at the Shchusev Museum and at MARKhI in the Central Hall.
In teaching, Ermolaev is noted for his initiative in organizing a student circle known as Theatre of Architectural Forms, which later staged the TAF workshop, and under Ermolaev's direction issued several unique publications: Zhurnalveshch 1 (4), Designer's Dictionary for Work in C21, and a photo album Through the Eyes of SE. Ermolaev has taken photographs continuously since 1958.
In 1983-84 he took part in the photographic exhibitions Predmetniy Mir (The Objective World) and Grafika v Gorode (Drawing in the City), organized by the journal Technical Aesthetics. From time to time he has given personal displays of his photographs at the Central House of Architects (1990,1993, 2000), at the Solyanka Gallery (1991), the Manezh (1998), and at the central museums of Anzhero-Sudzhensk (1993) and Krasnoyarsk (1997).
"Sasha Ermolaev is an artist (he signs his paintings and photographs with the initials SE). Alexander Ermolaev is an architect and designer applying strict creative rules. Alexander Pavlovich Ermolaev is a professor with his own school. Ermolaev is a trinity. Just as the art of the photograph, as Roland Bart observed in his famous Camera Lucida, can be divided into action of the Operator, the Spectrum and the Spectator, so Sasha Ermolaev 'takes' photographs, Alexander Ermolaev 'endures' and Alexander Pavlovich together with his students 'scrutinizes'. Naturally enough, 42 years ago, when Ermolaev first picked up a camera, there was no tripartite nature to his work. But those who are familiar with the full range of his creativity know well the feeling that Ermolaev is no longer looking for, but long ago discovered a sate in which each new frame is an evident confirmation of a long-developed and effectively used creative concept. That Ermolaev is not interested in the magic of photography, just as he is not interested in the nature of symbols: rather he lives a primitive material nature. That images fixed by the camera are in his expression: "lacking a subject, absurd, contingent, minimal," are not to be found outside the operator but are within it as if it were 'a kind of small simulacrum', that is the Spectrum. And in that case even more interesting, and so Ermolaev the Spectator chooses it for his external scrutiny." (Yu. Avvakumov).