Performance by Ivan Belyaev • Meaningless beauty. Questions of the way

December, 2020 Vologda

A sandbox is the basis for the installation; it serves as a foundation of the performance. The mannequin of a girl playing with magnetic fish toys is installed inside of the sandbox. The artist’s performance also happens at the sandbox where he creates container looking shapes from clay.

The sandbox is nothing but a metaphor of a game field, where fates of different people and humanity are being performed in the past, present and future.

The mannequin of a girl holding a fishing rod, a symbol named by the artist as “Playing Toy”, embodies the questions: “What does it mean to be a human? Does it mean to be a player or to be a toy in hands of nature?” Just “to be” seems as an obvious answer for a human that fights for the right of his existence. The reasons describing the obvious importance of existence are rather abstract…

The artist feels like the Playing Toy himself; he does not have answers about his role. The way for the artist in this game is to learn from material. He should find the reasons for him and the world to exist by going through the process of creation. Having covered himself in clay and by physically living through the wisdom of the material he is conscious of not giving any meaning or function to the objects, on the contrary he is making impractical things as reference to usual ceramic containers, he learns to see their beauty in order to see the beauty of the world with all its meaningless contradictions.

The artist learns to be attentive to triviality by depriving his work of any specific meaning. This performance helps him in becoming attentive to slight gradations and details of invisible and subjective beauty of the “meaningless” world. This beauty appears due to the efforts made in discovering it.

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