CASH: IX Shiryaevo Biennale of Contemporary Art

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Алексей Кострома | ALEXEY KOSTROMA

Project "BIG PLAY/ Home. Feather. Fatherland"

The forethought and the actualized – in brief

The artist's concept was not new, and it also looked transparent like glass: “One has to communicate culture to the general public”.

Conceptually all looked logical:

1. While you live in a village – you work with the locally available material. Feather was chosen.
2. The Zhigulyovskiye Mountains – kind of correlation with the European golf courses. Substantial was linked to unthinkable.
3. Repin was involved in communicating culture to the general public. “Rush, pierce, buy the masterpiece”.
These were the three foundations, on which the simple artist's idea was based.

In reality all looked as follows.

1. The baking Zhigulyovskiye sun gradually made crazy.
In search of the object of feathering the home, selection was made in favor of the bus stop where cows found rescue after shitting in the hot sun. Rewarded with a cold Pepsi bottle, the village boys who strolled by, happily agreed to help. In three hours, sneezing and coughing, they modified the bus stop beyond recognition. The stop pavilion promised to become popular not only among the cattle, but also among the locals who were watching the creative production and realizing how many cushions would bring to the households that sort of “modern art”. The local guys, in order to conserve the junk property till morning, made a hint to the artist, that it would be great to post a sentry for the night. And it was done.
The opening show day started untraditionally.
The early rumor that awakened the whole village was that the stop pavilion was burned down. The tipsy sentry had a narrow escape because he slept on the roadside. Meanwhile, the blare of the trumpets of the nomadic procession had been already resounding between two hills. The metropolitan boat from Samara moored to the pier. The landed persons were eager to become aware of modern art that was implanted in one single village. Perplexedly gazing at the half-burnt-half-feathered piece of art, the eager spectators were listening to the artist attentively. And the natives took their goats to show to them their new habitation area.

2. Gulf. Under the author's concept, the Shiryaevo hills – that had a slight resemblance to the gold-courses – could serve as an illustration of the concept “art as an elite sport”.
In a competitive contest, dethronement of curators and artists, who were standing on the Olymp of the actual art, was to take place. The names written on the walls of old ruins (Charles Saatchi, Damien Hirst, Thomas Krens, Jeff Koons, Robert Storr, and others) were to be stained with paints, thus giving way to the new art.
The opposite happened though. The first stroke by the titanium globule sidelined the first spectator. The dense crowd, like in the year 1905, surged back. Whisper of doubt spread across the village of Shiryaevo. Evidently, something went wrong. The notorious question was in the air: “What is to be done?” Quite unexpectedly, the local boys-separatists (who took shelter in the thorn bushes) joined the campaign. They only knew how to terminate the long pause. The idols were beaten with stones.
Fatigued by heat and actual art, the dwellers dragged themselves along.

3. Repin was right. Art does not belong to the people.

Catalog 2007

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