Open Museum Association

Marina Avdeeva

programme curator

Open Museum Association

p/b 25221 Krasnoyarsk Russia

www.aom.ru

Artists in Museums: contribution to the conservatists' sensibility

Katya Kandyba's creative work doesn't fall under a specific definition: theatre and museum designer, modern artist - all these names are very conventional in describing the real nature of her works. At the end of 90th, collaborating with museum and art galleries of Vladivostok city, Katya made several projects dedicated to historical memory. She used her experience of the theatre artist and this enabled her to expand our notions to what a museum show can only be capable of.

The la"Sandsra" exhibition project (1997, OMF Prize in 2002) is devoted to the friends of childhood, who died. Them photos are placed into specially arranged scenery associated with childhood. The visitors are allowed to dig in the sand box for something, chew apples, write and draw on the walls, ride the wooden horse plunging to the world of recollections. But horses and apples - symbols of childhood, and strange little knots of rags - symbols of unborn children imply the tragic sense of being. Looking from the third floor - from the la"upper worldra" one can see the time as the sands of life. The exhibition introduces eternity vertical to the traditional museum arrangement.

The la"Someonera" project (1998, OMF Prize in 2003) is dedicated to victims of political repressions. The base of the project is real documents of the legal case of a woman perished in Stalin repressions. Files and papers placed in the exposition make horrible and thrilling reading; they could have existed in any museum space as they were, as sheer documents. But Katya has created a complicate environment that had plenty of levels of meanings. First of all - the special atmosphere recalling the la"tactile and smell memoriesra" to represent the feelling of human personality in the GULAG. But she ran through the history of a concrete human life, the physical reality of GULAG juxtaposing metaphors and symbols and we see metaphysical reality - the tragic law of existence.

la"A Goriusha Gusevra" project (1999, Krasnoyarsk Biennale First Prize of 1999) represents a parody that is mocking the principles of museumification.

The exposition's hero, a Goruisha Gusev, lived in XIX century. The annotations depict facts of Goriusha's life: birth, childhood, the history of Goriusha's fatal encounter with a famous Russian poet, after which Goriusha turned into a wrongdoer, started to pilfer geese andhellip; made quills for this poet.

To show this story a house in the exhibition hall was constructed. The interior of Goriusha's home was restored, real things of the hero were exhibited and supplied with museum cards-passports. In a word - usual museum display. The thing that makes it differ from an usual museum show is that the hero and his life story is a mystification. Katya shows how a myth with the help of museum la"technologyra" materializes. After all the visitor is offered to meet in personhellip; the hero himself. In a specified time, any wisher can enter the house, put on the hero's cap and identify himself as Goriusha. The meeting with the hero turns into a meeting with oneself - with a possibility to feel oneself as a prospective object of museumification.

Katya Kandyba's projects are provocative and make the alternative to the museum demonstration of la"culture forms and objects diversityra". A historic document, a museum item serve for her a starting point for creation an exposition. She creates conditions under which these separate la"object shapesra" unite into the whole picture of life. At the same time, Katya's projects are far from typical modern art with its prevalence of idea over object concreteness. Her projects involve sensor perception, actuate all organs of sense of a spectator to excite deep emotional experience.

By methods of exposure, these shows are close to theatre. But this kind of theatre enhances no borders between the stage and the auditorium. It's like primitive art, which represented no division into onlookers and performers. Katya la"rehabilitatesra" the spectator by addressing his human integrity, his perception which isn't divided into intellectual and emotional levels.

Katya Kandyba's projects aren't products of museum design and could hardly be photographically fixed. As primitive rituals, they live their full lives only when they are performed - in feelings and experience of those who are inside the play and leave no impressions, but the memory of deep recognition, no facts, but wisdom.