Values folded into a three-story crossword puzzle
Installation-crossword "Ladder up" weighs 225 kg and rises to eight meters. The construction of the words, executed in avant-garde red and white colors, can be read from two sides, standing in the open air, or being indoors. And the project itself, in a conceptual sense, turned out to be two-sided. The author, one of the leaders of public art in Russia, the artist Marina Zvyagintseva retains her reputation as a street artist, while her new creation is protected by a glass "case". She “sewn up” high concepts into a crossword puzzle, however, in a playful way, thereby reducing the pathos of the stated topic. What was put into the value structure of 2.5 thousand people who came up with the words for the project, learned "MK".
"Creativity" crosses the "leader", and "determination" grows out of it. "Champion" stands above "honesty". "Reliability", "determination", "stability" and "team" add up to a single "ladder" of words. The crossword installation contains 12 concepts. Their artist chose from 100 words suggested by ordinary people - scientists and workers, engineers and cleaners, managers and drivers, IT specialists and locksmiths. Thousands of people became co-authors of Marina Zvyagintseva. This is called participatory art (from English participate - “participate”): this approach involves the involvement of the public in the process of creating a work.
The installation occupied three floors of a training center at one of the large electrical engineering plants in Tver, built recently. Hundreds of people visit the center every day - lectures, excursions, discussions on digital and electronic technologies are held here. It is a rare case when an artist is invited to come up with an art project for a building at the stage of its construction, but this is exactly what happened here. Moreover, the interior design of the training center, where specialists and students of specialized universities from all over the country now come, is based on the art project of Zvyagintseva.
“The result is an “art-centric” design, where art dictates the style of the room, and not vice versa,” says the MK artist. – This is a new trend in public art and the design of public spaces – an architectural and artistic synthesis of the future. Sooner or later, art will enter the working zones. It's already happening here. In one of the workshops, for example, there is already a "green zone" where flowers "live" both in pots on the walls and in flowerbeds, creating a natural corner in production. An agronomist takes care of the plants, that is, this is not an art project. But let's see what happens next - perhaps soon art will take root here.
The complicity inherent in the concept of the project manifested itself not only in the popular choice of words for the installation, but also in the technical solution. The fact is that the crossword puzzle is made up of cable trays - engineering communications in buildings are usually attached to these. They resemble stairs, where each "cell" is 28 by 30 centimeters. And the artist needed square compartments to put the letters in, just like in a crossword puzzle. Therefore, engineers specifically calculated a new design for the installation and melted special trays. In addition, we had to come up with a special suspension system - more durable mounts, so that the installation weighing 225 kg would hold securely. The installation is essentially floating in the air. It is fixed only on a beam under the roof, which was specially designed during the construction of the building for the art object. Thus, the engineers became partners in the artistic process.
But every viewer is also involved in the art game. Because empty cells are left in the installation, and anyone can come up with their own words that fit into the value crossword puzzle. Moreover, grandiloquent words do not sound arrogant or pretentious, as they are “wired” into a game form, so every time they give rise to new associations and thoughts. One of the viewers said that he rethought the word "honor" several times while looking at the crossword puzzle. “I remembered honor in the sense that it was understood in the 19th century or in a movie about musketeers, with a classy flavor. But today this word sounds different, like pride in what you do and create, ”Dmitry shared his impressions with MK.
- Art affects the subconscious of people, because it speaks in a special language. He speaks about the important with the help of associations and game techniques, which allows each viewer to become co-authors and comprehend the topic in their own way. It turns out that my installation has a life of its own and affects people, which is the main task of public art,” concludes Marina Zvyagintseva.