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Public Space

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


The concrete letters form the word «The Authorities», which is also means «The Power». In Russian language these two words are synonyms. This site-specific work related to the problem of a huge gap between the political elite and ordinary people in Russia. The social gap combined with corrupt practices in administrative and security structures that seek to leverage power, serves to block human rights and freedom of speech. The sculpture conveys a functional idea—a bench that is also a direct call to «sit down on the authorities». Same time 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 aims to initiate different levels of reflection. This work is a direct note 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—a sarcastic and critical symbol which cannot be avoided and extremely difficult to be destroyed.

Mykola Ridnyi

Site: Esplanada square, Perm

Status: temporary, still present

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