Timophey Radya, a Russian artist from the largest Ural’s city was awarded first prize at a relatively young contemporary art fair that took to NY streets this year.
His installation (titled: “Figure #1: Stability”) looked like this:
And, of course, it was very safe, very stable, no danger to visitors whatsoever.
Originally, it was a totally different mixture of performance and installation (which, obviously could not be taken to a NY street):
This card house was built by people dressed in police uniform. It was built with riot-police steel shields, and then a throne was placed on its top. The red carpet was rolled out for people to approach, kneel and bow. The “pyramid” was blown away by the strong winter wind soon after it was erected.
It is one of the most concise gestures not only criticizing the current state of affairs in Russia (often referred to by a Russian word which I can only translate as “Stabiliend” and that’s not even remotely as funny as the original “Stabilizetz”) but the traditional Russian approach to resolving conflicts brewing within the society since the 16th century. Yet, in its final act it is full of hope (wind blowing the pyramid away), which some may consider as a harbinger of doom. For the periods of Stabiliend in Russia would often be followed by deadly chaos,
This is the artist’s website with loads of photos and a video. A good example of art that touches the nerve of the society, not just Russian, but global.