The interview about French castles
While you were in residence, a large-scale and very ambiguous geopolitical conflict unfolded in the world. What were the mood in the residence?
- Personally, my mood was terrible. I remember when I flew through Moscow, there was an announcement that the United States is bringing troops into the Crimea. Then I just went over - it became very scary, there were thoughts that I was being deported before arrival. Every morning at breakfast, the guys asked me about the situation and told their versions, read them in the news. Everyone supported and reassured me. An artist from Canada, for example, jokingly offered me in the case of a very difficult situation of which she moved in to make a fictitious lesbian art marriage. But it was especially gratifying that everyone held the same opinion - any war is fought by the hands of politicians, and not civilians.
So, you were settled in a castle on the beach, gave you workshops and were given the task to relax. Because of this, you first strained a little, and then began to work?
- There was a very strong contrast between real life and the atmosphere where we were. This is a super bourgeois place. Castle, bay, romance.
But for contemporary artists, this is still a very interesting and specific situation - unrealistically comfortable conditions, although we were not given money for the implementation of projects and production. On the coast, a column of fashionable yachts, everything is very expensive - the usual, simplest baguette of fresh bread costs 2 euros. There was no question of buying materials there. On this occasion, we, the artist from Canada and the artist from the USA, decided to make a common project - a boat out of garbage and poor materials, so that on a par with yachtsmen on heaped yachts to go to the open sea.
Maybe the residence owners like arte povera (poor art)?
- The fact is that even arte povera is very difficult to do there, because it is quite difficult to find trash. We, in fact, were looking for trash for our yacht. We were printed a special piece of paper: “Good afternoon! We are artists from the castle and are looking for a bit of garbage to build a boat, ”with which we cruised through our town — to cafes, restaurants and other establishments.
The main task for us was to collect as many plastic bottles and hollow containers as possible to keep the boat afloat. We were very lucky when we went to the golf court - its owner, inspired by our idea, gave us huge plastic barrels, which served as the basis for our boat. When we finished construction, our junky yacht already had its own parking space, so the castle had a separate parking lot in the harbor, which gave even more humor to the project.
During the week we got acquainted with all the yachtsmen, they all gave us very friendly advice and were happy about our project. Against the background of luxury yachts, three incomprehensible characters on a boat out of the garbage go out to the open sea - it looked great. During our voyages, we talked about life, art, ate tangerines and drank wine, like real owners of the ship. Another important feature of the project was that while the large-scale conflict between the United States and Russia unfolded in the world, artists from these countries together built a yacht and sailed on it to the open sea.
Yes, the contrast is cool. And now what about this action? Who took the boat home?
- We made a big film about the construction and our voyages. Soon Mark will finish it, and I think to show it in Krasnodar.
What other projects were there?
- All artists were completely different. For example, the Spaniard Felix went to the open air every day to write the same place at different times of the day, such time-lapse realism. Mark from California cut stones and made sculptures. A Canadian artist shot a video about kisses with sculptures, an artist from New York often stood on her head in search of balance in her workshop, a writer from Romania collected stories about ghosts of the castle.
In general, my favorite feeling of a psychiatric hospital was created, since there all the artists did absolutely not practical, but research projects.
For a month I made 4 projects, one of them was a continuation of the one that showed in February in Krasnodar in the gallery “Staircase”. In it, I took molds of forms from objects from my room, but I always wanted to mold something in an urban environment — a sculpture or part of a building. It’s almost unrealistic to do this, but there I worked as much as I could - I took impressions from sculptures, corners of buildings, gates, trees. Against the background of the castle courtyard, the contrast turned out - the art of the XVIII – XIX centuries was for centuries, monumental, long-lasting.