It seems to be such a short time ago I convened guests to Bulthaup for the presentation of the pilot issue of Projector. It’s been five years and twenty issues since then.
I remember that how the year 2007 ended. One December evening, I came home and told my wife: «Nika, I’m now unemployed (the publishing house where I had been working as a creative director was closed as unnecessary), we no longer have a regular income, but I’ve got up to this challenge with the magazine, and it would be a drag to crap my pants after the output of one pilot issue only and not to try to release at least one more. If you don’t mind, I’ll spend all our money on the print circulation, and then I’ll think of something». Nika — a wise woman with newborn Alice in her arms — said: «Aren’t you fucked up, darling? We have a one-month daughter, I don’t work, and you wanna spend evrything on your toys! However, do as you know. I believe in you!»- and went to nurse Alisa. This evening may be called the real birthday of Projector. In fact, when the beloved woman tells you she believes in you, it can be considered the key to the success of any enterprise, even the most shameless adventure.
Thanks to Nika’s good graces, the magazine has been continuously issued for the past five years. During this time, we’ve never shifted the deadlines, have not reduced the number of lanes, didn’t make double issues and did not use thinner paper- in a word, even in the crisis years we avoided small publishing tricks.
And the fact that instead of publishing a magazine we could spend the money on new cars, motorcycles and travel, we’re working not for money but for the art! Right, Nika?
Projector № 3(20) 2012
The twentieth issue of Projector has been published - this is the first real anniversary. And, believe me, this is a considerable event for the magazine about design in modern Russian history.
Especially for the anniversary issue of Projector the famous duet Pprofessors — Andrew Lyublinsky and Maria Zaborovskaya — have made the Red man with number five. Pprofessors ppay anniversary compliments to Pprojektor. Read the great interview with Pprofessors in this issue’s project №1 «Personification».
Pprofessors have repeatedly appeared on the pages of Projector. Moreover, the first publication of now known all over the country project Red people appeared in my magazine in immemorial January 2008. Even then I told the guys I’d surely see their work in the MoMA, and everything is now heading in this direction. At least, nothing simular to Pprofessors’projects is being done in contemporary Russian art. They cut their way equally through design and art — a kind of unique combination.
We’ve chosen the metalwork genius Jean Prouvé to be the historic figure of the main column. About his life in design and outstanding facilities Margarita Morozova writes about outstanding objects by him and his life in design : «Prouvé never designed purely formal things; the usability, design purity and specificity of materials were always important to him. Prouvé revealed a practical problem and design solution for every object of him, and at the same time, he managed to surround a highly technical object with a peculiar poetic aura».
Especially for the project «Lettering» I’ve interviewed the American team Friends of Type. The main «pulp» of friendsoftype.com project is non-profit work of four friends who earn fame and money with font and graphic design to. Let me introduce the friends of font: Aaron Karambula, Eric Marinovic, Jason Wong and Dennis Payongayong.
The section «Subject» continues the series of publications on the long-running project Color music I’m running together with my friends from the company Artlight. A touch is the key experience of human interaction with the objective environment. Why do expensive cars are all entirely laid in leather and wood? Why is a weighty thing subjectively perceived as more expensive than a light one? The answers to these questions are not of prohibitive complexity. Tactile sensations give us much more information than it’s commonly believed, and this is why manufacturers of everything the human hand can touch pay so much attention to texture and materiality of their objects. We don’t neglect this either in the project Color music.
We continue to consider the substantive environment together with the magazine partners — the Finnish company Martela. This issue shows Kari series, named after its inventor, the designer Kari Asikainen. Kari Asikainen is still a hard-working designer, professor, the holder of numerous professional awards. It is noteworthy that Kari series received the prestigious award of the Finnish Association of Interior Designers (SIO) as the best item for public spaces in 1982, and the first Kari chairs were designed back in 1969, and for the past forty years the series has become one of the largest collections of furniture for public interiors. Nowadays Kari series of objects are still considered fresh and relevant, and this is the sign of a truly timeless classic design of the highest standard. Kari Asikaynen has managed to create a replicable and alterable image, evolving within a given system for the fifth decade.
In 2012, at the exhibition Classics of the Finnish design, the curator of the gallery Modernariat Pavel Ulyanov managed to recreate a fragment of the legendary office interior of Finnair’1969. «The triumph of Finnish design of the sixties was fully reflected in the appearance of the company office. Reception chairs — cult Ball chairs, and VSOP chairs for visitors resembling of brandy glasses, all by the designer Eero Aarnio. The ball chair, even half a century later, is still a relevant and supertemporal design masterpiece of the twentieth century. As for the project VSOP, master Aarnio returner to it forty years later, in 2008, presenting evolutionary model seats Cognac XO. The airline office staff desks were manufactured by ASKO limited to only six pieces, customized for «Finnair» and made by the designer Raynaud Ruokolainen. It’s even more surprising, that I managed to get one of those six for my collection and for the exhibition» — writes Pael Ulyanov about this memorable piece of design. I should add on behalf of the editor — the PR-representative of «Finnair» in Russia completely ignored our requests and did not find it possible to respond to our letters. Nevertheless, the publication took place. Well, it’s not about «Finnair» is, but about the design of 1969.
Finnish design with its external brevity may be extraordinarily charismatic and passionate. As the kitchen Kokopuu, for example, — a new item by he magazine partners, the company Isku. I have a culinary rather than a design view of this object: «The table came out to be visually very light, despite the mighty seven-santimeter solid top — such an everlasting thing which will serve more than one generation of the family. The use of fair wood is a good decision from the point of view of design. This is the material that ages beautifully and only gains more charisma through the years- remember age-old countertops at any good old restaurant. The wood absorbs the warmth of hands and the love which the chef prepares dinner with for her family and friends.
The project №5 «Environment» opens with a tremendous publication of one unique construction I saw on a trip to Tallinn. Believe me, even if Tallinn didn’t have anything except the seaplane shed , it is still worth going there. «The story of this grandiose construction began in late 1913, when by the decree of Emperor Nicholas II they started building an airport which was to become a part of the naval fortress of Peter the Great (now Battery Fortress). Six thousand square yards of land were allocated for this purpose. In accordance with the fortification plans of Tallinn, approved by Nicholas II in 1911, a shipyard had been constructed by that time on the neighboring area. The plan required the construction of two identical adjacent hangar complexes. Now the hangars have been reconstructed and represent one of the most amazing museum grounds. The combinattion of unique engineering solution of the building, unprecedented restoration works and modern architecture of the display make Tallin Lennusadam (seaplane port) an obligatory point on the map of the Baltic design travel».
Another noteworthy environmental object, caught into the light of Projector, is the hilarious and lively antae temple, which the creative team «Lesosplav» (Alexander Berzing, Andrey Voronov, Georgy Snezhkin, Eugeny Novosadyuk and Innokenty Padalko) invented and built of hay bricks during the architectural festival Cities — 2012.
Early in the morning, at dawn, the architects came to their already built up to the roof object to add the final architectural details, and scared a couple who were selflessly making love on the hay brick floor — a classic situation of love pleasures in the hayloft. Ah, would they have known there was a process in full swing, they’d let the people finish and wouldn’t have felt foolish. It’s clear that such a case forced the authors to reflect on the improvement of the internal decoration of the temple, and the couches of the same emotional material — were put on the floor, empty before, — for all people! Sush a usage of an ancient temple is customary for the traditions of the Hellenistic period. And the guileless intercourse of the unknown guests became a symbolic act of converting the environmental object into a religious building — the true temple of love.
Project № 7 «Photography» tells the story of the works by Victor Shchurov (1955-2005) — an amazing Saint-Petersburg artist, whose exhibition has recently been held in the gallery Modernariat. Natalia Savotyugina, Alexander Lyashko, Alexander Koksharov and Alexander Nasonov remembered their friend and colleague: «He had a special gift to gain people literally after a few minutes of a dialogue. Everything interesting to Shchurov became interesting to everyone around. That was Victor who old ladies at the crossroads asked to take them across the road, despite his beard and tattoos. And his photos exposed his inner essence. If you can read an image, you can’t help loving this person — everybody loved him. It does not matter, whoever Victor would have become, but the moment when he had to choose what he would do, it turned out that photography was the likeliest way to express himself. And he became a good photographer».
In the project №8, «School», our regular contributor Sergey Helmyanov explores the legacy of Nikolay Slesarev — the designer and teacher at «Mukha» Academy: «Due to the fact that we are always living in «interesting times», it’s not surprising there isn’t a design museum in Russia, which would collect, preserve and popularize Russian design. There’s an opnion that we don’t have and have never had any design, and priceless objects and their authors remain in complete obscurity. In the workshop of Nicholas Slesarev there are still projects that should be actually kept in a museum».
«I’m also very glad to show in the project «School» the works by Maria Portnova, whose thesis project, created under the supervision of Konstantin Startsev, I’ve reviewed this summer. «The posters by Masha Portnova made my heart beat faster. Using a very low-key color palette in local accents, and generally limiting herself with almost a monochrome solution, Maria demonstrates professionalism of a virtuoso typographer and composer. The combination of professional graphic language with the subtlety of embodyment and the deep ideological component — that’s what distinguishes a truly outstanding performance from a different project. The posters may very well live their own exhibition and gallery life, being a remarkable example of graphic art».
The book project №9 turned out to be the richest one. It opens with the traditional publication by Mikhail Karasik on the history of books of the1930s. «Due to the picturesque language, involving photo illustration scenes with men and beasts, designed by artists, this is one of the earliest examples of a book for children, made in the manner of a cartoon. In its first issue, a kind of announcement of the publication in the magazine Novy LEF (#1, 1927), it reads Photoanimated illustrations to the children’s book «Samozveri» by S. Tretyakov.
Continuing the book subject, there’s a new sophisticated graphic volume from Yuri Gordon. This time, the artist’s book is dedicated to Daniil Kharms. Our expert Alexei Boiko speaks on it: «Gordon was piqued by Kharms, skillfully using his poisonous bites and intoxicating effects, to awaken and demonstrate his language tuning, the voice stream, the literature world. Not the illustration by Harms, but the implicit competition with him becomes the essence of the project, and in the dialogue, in the fight against the forefather Yuri Gordon uses designer and artist’s authoring tools of unique quality and variety. Oh, this is not something Kharms had. He, D.K, could not divide the same information into contemplative and readable sheets in a clear and exciting, fun to share manner. The idea of sophisticated and vital pairing fonts of his own design with man-made characters and pictograms didn’t strike his mind… Y.G. as creative as D.K. — and he’s more efficient, successful, more a winner».
And Mikhail Karasik again. Projector could not miss the release of a new book by our friend and regular contributor. Stanislaw Savitsky speaking about the book Culture centers, kitchens, bath houses, etc … Architectural constructivism of Leningrad: «It is a strange book. It is a large format with a solid aluminum cover, cumbersome, «heavier than lots of other noted books». You won’t be able to get to look it through on your laps. To view it, you need a large table, and you’ll have stand in front of it as while sitting you’ll not see the entire spread, not to mention the fact that it would be difficult to read it and look at the illustrations. You need an effort to turn the hefty cover, and flipping cardboard pages of large format requires catching the trick. This volume wants special attention, as if it is a facsimile edition of the ancient manuscript, a Linnaean times Herbarium or an old family album. In front of us there’s a design book, which immediately revealsits author as a person, enthusiastic with Soviet constructivism. The book sets up a long, confused and lively conversation about the early Soviet times».
And at the end of the anniversary publication of Projector there’s the third issue of the special project «ProArtt». The artist Alexander Dashevsky and I asked exciting questions to the representatives of the leading art galleries in Saint-Petersburg. Spoke to us: Liza Savina — the manager of Al Gallery; Anna Barinova — the art dealer and the owner of Anna Nova gallery; Diana Brat — the executive director of the gallery ART re.FLEX; Fedor Serdyuk — the art dealer and the owner of ART re.FLEX; Andrey Sakov — the curator of the gallery ART re.FLEX; Marina Koldobskaya — the director of Cyland Media Lab; Pavel Ulyanov — the curator and co-owner of the gallery Modernariat. The conversation was really fun and informative. Of course! Such experts were in the studio!