Kvartirnik, from the Russian kvartira (a flat), is an acoustic concert performed in a domestic setting: an ordinary apartment. Kvartirnik can also, however, be a poetry evening or other forms of creative and intellectual exchange. Under the Soviet Union, such gatherings were important expressions of the local avant-garde scene or a way to safely pass time in an intimately confined environment. The tradition lives on.
‘Kvartirnik’ presents five artistic positions in four different locations, reconstructing one united Viennese flat. We enter the bright living room with Daniela Grabosch, where a single textile piece hangs on the door like a giant rose petal and a video quietly plays on her phone with its cold, cautious voice. We later step into the bedroom with delicate sculptures by Anna Bochkova, haphazardly occupying the small space. Then we peak in the bathroom with Natalia Gurova and go down the staircase, flying over her bright silicone sculptures. Finally, there is a backyard with works by Danielle Pamp and Siggi Sekira—to gulp a breath of fresh air like a miniature ceramic sculpture overgrown by thistles, or to imagine a familial hug.
Kvartirnik exists on its own, with objects taking the central part, longing for the communion and normal life. The last thing you see is the shabby door and the choice to leave the silent gig or go upstairs. As Joseph Brodsky wrote, ‘Don’t leave your room, just say you have the influenza/A wall and table are the most fascinating agenda.’