talmud, 2023

Gregory Orekhov presented his latest work "Talmud" - a stainless steel sculpture rising nine meters to the sky from the surface of a lake covered in thickets of reeds. The title refers to the collection of sacred Jewish texts, but the work should be perceived more metaphorically: it is a vertical line that stores the teachings, knowledge and experience gained by people. It has no end and symbolically continues into infinity, accumulating new things as long as humanity exists.

This is a larger version of the work which was first shown at Cosmoscow in 2022. "I stacked three thousand steel sheets, forming a relief on the sculpture's facets," Gregory says of the process of creating the work. The effect is one of book pages frozen in a metal column, assembled into a slender, but living form.
Formed from stainless steel, the sculpture reflects the surrounding landscape, "absorbing" the world thanks to polished mirror edges. This is how additional meanings appear — "Talmud" combines both the man-made and that which unconditionally exists in the world.

"'Talmud' looks upwards, like Brancusi's 'Infinite Column', and this aspiration takes on a new meaning thanks to the title. The spiritual path is described in the language of sculpture. The vertical is directed towards the heavens. Orekhov translates identical pages from a short-lived and unstable state into a durable material. Knowledge in its concentrated form is a sequence of paper pages that has acquired the power of metal. The height of this giant - 9 meters - conveys a sense of the effort it takes to become a Sage," concludes critic Mikhail Sidlin.