I created my first works for the “Schema of Space” series on the territory of the Leningrad shipyard port. The time spent there was not in vain – with time, the aesthetics and particular flavor of that context found their way into further works of mine. The industrial environment, which I preferred over the artistic community, has influenced me and left its mark on the practical part of my work.
A shipyard port is barges and technical ships. It is a shoreline piled up with huge rusty parts and spares. It is cranes and excavators, tractors and shipping containers. Sometimes bulk mixes for road construction are unloaded in the port: black asphalt crumbs, moist dark-gray gravel, sand, and occasionally chemical reactants. Against the backdrop of this brutal, harsh landscape, workers from the blacksmith shop once confided their dreams to me. The blacksmith Kolya said that he spends every evening thinking about buying a laptop. Vadik described how much he wants to visit the seaside and sit under an umbrella on a beach chair. But it was the welder Grisha who shared the most explicit dream, describing his desire for a Hummer. After that, talk of the Hummer never left his lips. These discussions gave me the idea for the creation of a new “Schematization of Space” with the title “Golden Dream.” At that time, I was only able to make one group of subjects, the attributes of a beach vacation. But the impressions received from the stories about the Hummer have repeatedly excited me with their intensity and strength of contrast in the context of this dream.
Two years passed. Grisha had still not acquired a Hummer…
To date, I have known many welders who dream of a Hummer, so I can mark this phenomenon as a general tendency in perceptions of The Dream. The sculpture “The Hummer” was included in the project “Exhibition Plan,” which is presented in part at the Marina Gisich Gallery.
The time arrived to do the job. It became clear to me that the source of my inspiration was Grisha himself, and that this sculpture should be made together with him. Grisha was brought from the Leningrad region to my workshop near Moscow. A friend of the brother of one of my friends kindly provided his Hummer for a study en plein air. When we arrived at the measurements, and I began to draw a sketch, Grisha asked me for a piece of paper and pencil, and began to draw with me. That was a wonderful day of fruitful cooperative work. That’s when I was pleasantly surprised by Grisha once more.
When we began to work in the studio, I periodically glanced at the drawing made insecure by Grisha’s broken lines. The contour of metal wire, which usually followed the lines of my drawings, made me feel fed up with the regularity and predictability of the result. The welder’s drawing was different, and this became the main method of approach to the material this time. This was interesting and added variation; it was not the same as always; it was something new. This time I followed Grisha’s line, instead of he following mine.
The discovered approach was fully consistent with the program of “materializing a daydream.” I was already prepared to give the welder the main role, when, in response to the typical request “weld – trim – weld,” I unexpectedly heard Grisha’s words: “… You’re the one who needs it, so do it yourself!”
Grisha left, leaving behind an abandoned, unfinished, flat half of “The Hummer.” I remained alone in utter disappointment, since the project could not be completed without Grisha. I took a canvas and paints and painted several studies, and then returned the following day to finish “The Hummer.”