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The Authorities

Concrete, 1600 x 300 x 80 cm.
Produced in a frame of the Public Art Program of the Museum for contemporary art PERMM, Perm


There is a huge gap between the political elite and ordinary people in Russia, as well as in many other countries. This situation, when combined with corrupt practices in administrative and other structures that seek to leverage power, serves to block or silence human rights and freedom of speech. This sculpture of the word "The Authorities" in Russian also means "The Power." Concrete letters convey a functional idea—a bench that is also a direct call to "sit down on the authorities.” It is no coincidence that these letters appear upside down from the perspective of a sightline traced from the windows of the Legislative Council building. This provokes the authorities to look at themselves head-over-heels. As a medium that is both an intervention into public space and an obsessive presence in daily life, sculpture can initiate different levels of reflection. This work is a bold reference to the fact that any political regime or authority can construct their monuments to themselves, but in this case, the result produces a monumental fiction—an irony which cannot be avoided and is extremely difficult to break.


Site: Esplanada square, Perm

Status: temporary, still present