CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art



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Back 2003: Food Information, organizers

Андрей Сяйлев | Andrey Syaylev

the milk rivers

When you search in the Internet for the word combination "milk rivers", there comes a lot of information about woman's breast, folklore and cows. There is plenty of it, and all this is as connected with the described project as it has no connection at all.

Perhaps it's worth beginning with the very intimate thing : "And we will return to the historical Motherland where the milk rivers with honey are floating" - this is the Bible pre-explanation (the Enoch book) which perfectly coincides with the project theme - to turn everything around into some magic, paradise space where freedom of behaviour is not a sin and breaking social norms, but a natural and only possible state of human soul.

The very cover of the performance offers rather available means in order to contact the "soul festivals" - come to the sources of the milk rivers which are as well called "Heaven rivers" in the "eternal" books, and so, having got the permission from above, you can easily live an idle life.

Something about the sources and breasts, more exactly, about cows and udder… It's absolutely clear that pre-parents of this festivals and joy, and particularly milk rivers could be nothing but a cow. It's not surprising that for Indian and Homer epics the cow cult is as well holy, the name of this animal is interpreted as a pre-parent, and its udder means fertility and flourishing. The authors of the project treat the cow with the same respect, bending down the knees. It's possible "to open the gates for the Truth" by means of the ritual act, bending down to the ground, to the trees, to any other cult thing and animal. But the authors of the project emphasize cow first of all. This is explained by the "clarity of the experiment", all the above-mentioned things and the following detail.

A cow is practically the only totem animal which is directly associated with a woman, her beauty and function in our world. This interpretation adds not only esthetic value in the performance, but as well turns it into the ritual act of initiation - coming at the next stage of personal development. Why such form is being chosen? - possibly because it enables "to initiate the personality into childhood", in which freedom is not permissiveness, but an aspiration to try everything, to learn everything… The project can be considered as an interesting toy of a child, it's only surprising that the details of this toy are the age-old ideas of millions of people, traditions which have become the pre-basis for tens of peoples. But all this does not burden the perception, everything is read easily and without efforts, it's pleasant to exist in such feeling, take it out of the project and bathe in the milk rivers for a long time…

andrey syaylev