CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Back 2001: Tangibility participants

Оксана Стогова | Oxana Stogova

Оксана Стогова, Ширяево

the transplantation of grass or
the dedication to malevich
and semiramis


If we have a look at the exact translation of the Latin word "taktilis", the meaning of it is "a tactile sensation resulting from touching something".

In other words - one of the ways of man's cognition of the world.

The topic of tangibility at the symposium was rather a vast one, as the sense of touch is not just touching something with one's hands. It's also when the wind touches your hair or waves lick your skin. Generally speaking, the artist's creation of a painting is also tactile activities :hand - brush (or pencil) - canvas (or paper). On the whole, here you can do what you please, as our life itself is "taktilis".

I was unwilling to bring artificial and alien elements or anything produced by our industry to Shiryaevo, that's why I made use of now unfashionable land-art.

A surface layer of pressed limestone was removed from the area of 7 by 7 metres with the help of my numerous assistants and instead we put blocks of turf, cut out from the nearby meadow. The space between the blocks was covered in soil and the seeds of some grass from Germany were sown there. On the "open day" children could walk on the site and gather spilled caramel sweets, symbolizing future flowers and berries.

We were haunted by tactile sensations 2 weeks through: our hands touched the ground, the ground and water touched the seeds, the children gathered the sweets in the grass… I hope that my "green carpet" will come in handy to the village, as people could come here sometimes and bask in the sun.

Now it's time to explain what Malevich and Semiramis have to do with all that. My work has a reference to Malevich because of the square shape of the "green carpet", and any work of art appealing to this shape is closely connected in our mind with the creator of the famous "Black square".

Semiramis came to mind during my two weeks' watering of the plot: the hanging gardens of Semiramis could survive only due to tiring daily labour of watering the plants, brought from the regions with fertile soil to the dry climate of Babylon.

Sometimes, while watering my plot of land, I thought: "Without hard daily labour the whole idea of mine will be ruined just like the hanging gardens of Semiramis after the crash of the Babylon Empire".

Maybe, I was wrong.


Oksana Stogova, October, 2001