CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Елена Воробьева, Виктор Воробьев | Elena Vorobyova, Victor Vorobyov

regarding «art and a fly»

As a matter of fact, I've already got a text about «a fly» and «art». It was written by me when we were doing 2 previous projects on the topic in Alma-Ata (1998) and in Bishkek (1999), but the Korzhovs rejected it on the reason that it had already been published somewhere, and they wanted something new and exclusive.

Thus, having no desire to meditate about «the Fly» for the second time, I'll try to limit myself to describing our "artistic" actions in the village of Shiryaevo.

It's a well-known fact that a fly by nature is a creature it's impossible to exterminate, it's always reviving like Phoenix. If you throw into one scale a fly, and in the other - art, the question «Which of then is more eternal?» sounds most inappropriate. Art, being something «speculative, refined and exquisite» (as my teacher of the History of the Art put it) can't compete with a monster, fighting for its survival for ages.

Being deeply insulted by this historical injustice, we made up our minds to make the insect serve «supreme ideals» and replenish "spiritual values" with its help.

Acting like a real man, Victor was the first to accept the battle. Each time we heard buzzing, he was on the alert fearlessly repulsing the air-raids of the enemy. Any intrusion into our life-space was accepted as an act of terrorism. The enemy was acting individually and in groups, but it always met with a rebuff in the form of a fly-swatter.

Soon the floor of our village house was strewn with dead bodies of flies. Loathsome as I felt, I was spreading their decomposing bodies on white sheets of paper, thus turning them into «artistic material». I will always remember that particular sound, with which each creature touched the surface.

«Tangibility...tangibility...» - this strange word kept hammering inside my head...

I weaved the stains into the simple pattern of my compositions together with the realizing of the fact that these drawings could be used for the visual propaganda of art, whereas the demonstration of the enemies' dead bodies could be effective as one of means of anti-terror, which filled me with a feeling of deep satisfaction.

But force was not the only weapon in our struggle, as we also set a cunning trap in the very den of our enemy - in the Shiryaevo's canteen, where everything was boiling, stewing, bubbling and smelling.

The most attractive place in the whole village (and not only for flies) was the center of the night life of our international community. «The chic» interior of the place, photographic wall-paper, artificial flowers, «ostrich» feathers and a black metallic railing with the sign «The Bar» - everything there just struck imagination.

Camouflaging everything with discussions about art, everyone was giving himself to gastronomic and other kinds of depravity (it is all filmed), simultaneously watching films with natural scenes of violence and erotico-vegetarian thrillers. Wild dancing orgies and songs in different foreign languages will be long, I think, kept in memory of the villagers.

Small crowds of teen-agers on the bench of the half-destroyed bus stop were gazing at the windows of the canteen, only the boldest ones dared to intrude into that attractive space with a plain question: «How is it going there, back in Germany?» or the only greeting they could think of: «Hende hoch!», but in reply they heard obscure: «Gracie, gracie ... contemporary ... beshbarmak ... give me please ... amor ... tangibility ... choose ... direct line ... see you soon ... bye ...»

Sheer «dolce vita».

«DOLCE VITA»-it was written with the cellotape of the Italian firm «Raptor» and hanging in the air among all of this magnificence.

And the flies believed, they got right into a jam, into a mess, and I hope this time - forever.

The best feedback for this installation was received from the team of cooks: «Thank you ever so much! You were a great help! The Sanitary Inspection couldn't find a single fly in the whole canteen! Let the sign stay!»

Well, so be it...

And the word «tangibility» kept hammering in my head...What was the point, I wonder?


Elena Vorobyova