Editor’s column

Living in a northern country is a nice thing. The distinct change of seasons is just one of our numerous advantages. I guess, many of us, coming to southern Europe, were puzzled time after time: how do the Spaniards or, say, the Greeks still manage to produce something, provide services, do business with their centuries-old tradition of siesta? This is a marvellous B-day — You’ve been working till midday, then lunch, wine and sleep. And only completely desperate workaholics crawl to work for another couple of hours there. In order to understand this rhythm of life, it’s probably necessary to spend over a year in these blessed countries. One can only assume that sunlight helps people and increases their efficiency sky-high. However, it seems to me there is some kind of cunning. Although they say Russian labor is several-fold less productive than in Western countries, but it’s probably «the average temperature in the hospital». Everything that happens in my friends’ life is a continuous whirlwind of new projects. There’s no time for siesta. The habit to work hard, often accompanied with inability to relax — that’s the quality I see in my world. Probably, it’s cool. At least, we persuade ourselves of this. But, having learned to work so hard that hat sparks fly all over us, should we possibly learn to relax, like any Greek or Catalan?

 



    Projector № 2(23) 2013

    This time the cover has been turned into the message board of the projects I’m into - about the magazine itself, ART1.ru and the lecture project «Poster Stars». The «Poster Star»s logo wanted visual support, and I animated it a bit. Hopefully, the faithful readers will recognize us anyway. Oh, and for the most attentive - the main character of the issue is Piotr Bankov. You can see his name on the cover twice - in the publications announcements and the program of appointments in New Holland.

    Within Saint-Petersburg Design Week dear Karim Rashid came to us, came to us, oh he came to us! Guests of this caliber are a rarity in our latitudes. Karim Rashid: «I usually run the project by 95%. I design, make drawings, choose the material, collaborate with the production site».

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    The main historical figure of the issue is the legendary American designer Raymond Loewy. Read his story presented by Pavel Ulyanov: «Andy Warhol regretted it wasn’t he who had invented jeans. His aim was to leave on the planet no person who hadn’t used his works. The designer Raymond Loewy almost managed to embody this dream in global scale. During his life he made an incredible number of projects for more than two hundred companies come true, from the momentous pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes and the bottle of Coca-Cola to trains, planes, cars and orbital modules».

     

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    We met Piotr Bankov, having arrived to participate in the Typo Berlin conference. I do not know what was more honorable for me — to speak in Berlin in front of two thousand listeners or to find myself standing on the same stage with Piotr Bankov. Piotr had always been an idol for me, ever since 1997, when the first issue of the magazine [kAk) was published. At the time, in 1997, he seemed to me an unattainable god, but now we are friends. However, nothing has changed about my attitude to him. He still is the role model of living in a profession for me. When, after his presentation and display of posters he got an expected question from the audience: «How? How come it’s possible to run such an incredible amount of work?» — Piotr responded in a short sentence: «Given up drinking». And now I’m facing a serious question. Maybe, I also should? Read the tremendous interview with Piotr Bankov.

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    Another large interview, which I had to fly to Greece for and spend two days on the designer Axel Peemoeller’s yacht. Axel was born and raised in Germany, but he does not consider himself a German designer. His cultural and professional identity, as well as the geography of orders, is much broader. But speaking of Axel’s works, I can’t help telling that for the past four years he and his girlfriend have been living on the forty-foot sailing yacht La Negra, cruising the Mediterranean. It also comes to more northern latitudes, if necessary, mooring in Rotterdam or Hamburg. Axel has made his dream of arbitrary marine life come true not at the expense of his profession. I’ve tried to figure out how he has managed this all.

     

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    This time the continuation of the Color music series is reflected in the white collection of lamps. Working with found-objects is considered to be primarily the prerogative of art rather than design. However, the boundary between the two related genres is sometimes completely erased nowadays. Artists might get up to serial objects and turn to the conveyor, art galleries and art museums may organize design displays. The collection Lumiere by Artlight and us is expanding out of design area towards the field of art, having all the features of both.

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    In cooperation with the Finnish company Martela, Projector explores a new paradigm of working space: «workspace, in fact, appears by itself where the Web access exists. Another important sociolgical factor of influence on the changes in the traditional office environment was so-called Generation Y — the ones born in the eighties and nineties, who have grown up and started working».

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    Pavel Ulyanov shares his new auction acquisition: «Soft chair is a giant mattress, bolted to a round stool, which claims for space like a vacuum bomb — the larger the space is, the greater is the desire to expand. The Soft chair concept is the chair for the lobby. The designer Kai Korhonen felt it necessary to fill soulless spaces of modern architecture».

     

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    In New York, in the heart of Manhattan on 16th Street in the YIVO Institute, the personal exhibition Floating Worlds and the cities of the future. The genius of Lazar Khidekel. Suprematism and Russian avant-garde opened in April. In Regina Khidekel’s interview to Elena Dobryakova she speaks about her famous relative. We got the reproductions of the works by Lazar Khidekel, illustrating the interview, from the architect’s family, and it’s the first time they are published. «Lazar Khidekel, as Malevich in art, reached the level of abstraction that goes beyond the particular historical period, innovating on its way the forms of architectural avant-garde, that always looks at the future and even today, eighty years later, remains revolutionary».

     

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    For the architectural festival City, the theme of which was «Microdom», the creative workshop Lesosplav, whose hay architecte experiments Projector mentioned in the issue 3 (20) 2012, has designed and built a rocket directly in front of the building of Moscow Central House of the Guild of Artists.

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    The private museum Design Panoptikum in Berlin is one of the strangest and most beautiful places I have ever visited. A dozen of small rooms houses the unique collection of accessories, details and mechanisms. All the items are extremely functional, but now they mostly resemble of a collection of outlandish kunststucks, the original purpose of which is sometimes difficult to guess. The treasure cave belongs to the photographer Vlad, a keen and beautifully crazy collector of amazing design objects of the XX century. Vlad gave a fascinating tour of his possessions and showed us different wonders.

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    Alexander Florenskiy has discovered and interviewed for Projector a wonderful photographer Ismail Galin: «I was showing my works to a local colleague, who said: «This is the situation that’s important to you, not the sensation». Probably, he’s right. Not necessarily something should happen, nothing at all might occur. In general, this is an artistic, almost figurative approach, almost like drawing a picture. You don’t have to go far, you may shoot inside the house, next to the house. You depend ony on the light, as Monet en plein air».

     

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    And Yuri Molodkovets presents the exhibition A Parte in the gallery Stachka: «A Parte is the second co-project of Saint-Petersburg photographers Maria Pavlova and Michail Pavlovskiy. The exhibition I do not need this city without you was the study of urban space as the only possible environment for a human, a fragile human in a complicated and beloved City. The new history is the process of disclosure of the Human Space».

     

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    Sergey Helmyanov continues writing the story of the famous graduates of our school. The shipbuilding industry in the USSR had only three major architects: Sergey Ivanov — the chief Architect of fishing vessels; Anatoliy A. Pavlov — the chief architect of transport ships; Igor Y. Serebrennikov — the chief architect of research vessels. (All of them are the graduates of The Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy named after V. Mukhina). This issue contains Igor Serebrennikov’s story about life in the profession and designing research vessels: «I came back to the shop floor, the men gathered. They all were veterans. They said: «We need to baptize you». They poured a cup of spirit for me, diluted it with water, also poured some spirit for themselves. They put me in the middle of the shop floor. They lifted the elbows and then said: «Go to the plant management, to the chief mechanic, and tell him all the work is done». I did, leaned on the table and said: «Your task is completed».

     

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    Further on, there’s Sergei Helmyanov’s publication about his work on developing projects of small architectural forms together with his students. «The urban environment is a more synthetic and complex concept than just an architectural solution, a general plan. Lots of its elements can be described in the specifications, and nobody thinks of many others, and we don’t see most of them. However, everybody feels that it’s good here and bad there, this city is cozy, and in that one you always feel lonely, this is where you want to come back to, and there you want to run away from. The students in their fourth and fifth years at the industrial design facultee of The Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy have tried to clerify these delicate matters a bit».

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    Here’s the traditional publication of Mikhail Karasik on the history of book design of the 1920-30s dedicated to the two books by Alexander Rodchenko: Steam locomotive on cost accounting and To exemplary catering: «The transition from constructivist posters, covers, poetry books with a few photomontage illustrations to photobooks of complex design seemed unexpected and sudden at first sight. The albums and digests devoted to the works by Rodchenko do not give the clear answer of how this transition occurred, and what exactly the artist did about book design at the beginning of the decade».

     

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    «ProArt», the magazine in a magazine, is published in cooperation with the portal ART1.ru. Over the past three months more than five hundred serious articles have come out on ART1.ru. Choosing the best one among has been the challenge that proved beyond me, so I’ve picked up four interviews for publication. Each of them was an extremely important milestone for our project.

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    «Contemporary art is very rarely loved by its contemporaries». The director of the State Russian Museum Vladimir Gusev: «The museum should distinguish what is art and what is a political gesture. You can declare a pile of excrement to be an artwork and sell it for good money — it is also art, but we do have such a skill. The museum should simultaneously be a catalyst for the development of modern art and select the best. <…> The questions of art and culture can’t be solved at meetings and squares, they’re not solved with Cossack whips or individual terrorism. An artist has the right for a gesture having a political and social message, but he should consider what this is for. But, again, the culture must confront aggression. Gelman mentioned that, too: before people used to come and say about the Black Square — «Nothing special, I can do that too!», and now their reaction is: «Wow, I can do that too! And what if I’m an artist?»

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    «Unbounded ambitions are a heavy heritage». The rector of the Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture of I. Repin Semyon Mikhailovskiy: «Architecture reflects the public mood. There can no architecture occur where it’s not wanted, where no understanding of it exists. The modern architecture in Saint-Petersburg doesn’t have its adherents willing to support it strongly and in a well-argued manner. There are no strong influential people who are ready to be engaged into its promotion. No one pins their hopes on architecture, transforming the urban landscape. This issue is not on the agenda at all, and when there is no support and understanding, nothing more or less significant in the near future can be constructed».

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    «I’m not a professional collector». The music critic and kulturtrager Artemy Troitsky speaking of his collection of art: «It all started with drinking and was built on the foundations of friendly relations. In the late sixties — early seventies underground musicians and artists lived in each other’s pockets. I had many friends among the young artists of the time: Amanita, Collective actions, all sorts of young hooligans-conceptualists — Sven Gundlach, Nikita Alexeev, Kostya Zvezdochiotov and others. We were friends, spent our time together. I was a less drinking person than many of them, and as I sometimes had money on me, I helped fellow artists financially. I also was the chief agent, purchasing new music, and sometimes brought them new records and happened to get their works in exchange. I’ve never attached importance to this: many of them have been lost».

     

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    London calling. The founder and director of the London-based fund Calvert 22 Nonna Materkova speaks about the propaganda of contemporary art: «Gallery space is small. By the way, this is not a problem for London: when you come to Russia, everybody begins to ask: «And how many meters do you have?» — «Five hundred» — «Ooh, little». The most important thing here is not meters, but your reputation. A good reputation allows you to expand the perspectives and work with larger organizations in partnership. For example, we have had сo-projects with Tate Modern, South London Gallery — one of the most important places associated with contemporary art in London».

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    In partnership with Aurora Fashion Week we’ve made another column, «ProFashion». It’s always interesting to learn the history of howof successful projects developed firsthand. Read the large interview with the general producer of AFW Artem Balaev: «I think, Saint-Petersburg, hasn’t had such a project before. The regular projects, existing earlier, — Defile on the Neva, The Admiralty Needle and Elle Fashion Days usd to solve other problems. The designers who we are interested in, either almost didn’t participate in these projects already, or didn’t take part in them at all on conceptual grounds. We’ve managed to offer an interesting niche product. And so now we’ve gathered twenty leading designers of Saint-Petersburg».

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    In partnership with Aurora Fashion Week we’ve made another column, «ProFashion». It’s always interesting to learn the history of howof successful projects developed firsthand. Read the large interview with the general producer of AFW Artem Balaev: «I think, Saint-Petersburg, hasn’t had such a project before. The regular projects, existing earlier, — Defile on the Neva, The Admiralty Needle and Elle Fashion Days usd to solve other problems. The designers who we are interested in, either almost didn’t participate in these projects already, or didn’t take part in them at all on conceptual grounds. We’ve managed to offer an interesting niche product. And so now we’ve gathered twenty leading designers of Saint-Petersburg».

     

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    Projector № 2(23) 2013

    Read the full e-version on issuu.com