#MobileMayakovsky will be realized at CCI Fabrika artspace in Moscow Summer 2016

#MobileMayakovsky is a mobile lounge/library/workshop/performance space designed by architect Peter Franck. It is a public art project that brings the linguistic playfulness, exaggerated style and oblique political commentary inherent to
the manifesto into the digital age. Inspired by the life and poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky,  the project provides participants the opportunity to learn about, reflect upon, and be inspired by early Russian avant-garde artists, both their revolutionary artistic achievements and the often violent repression of their artistic freedom.  With the help of local artists, graphic designers, and poets, passersby will create their own manifestos, which will be printed on site,Tweeted, and performed. In the process, we hope that Russians will reclaim the avant-garde as a celebrated part of their history and creatively respond to current political, social and cultural conditions which stymie free artistic expression. Mayakovsky is a problematic figure in Russia who has been used/resurrected for many purposes. We are, in a sense, resurrecting him again, as a problematic symbol of rebellious creativity that was stifled for political purposes (Mayakovsky himself writing that he “stepped on the voice of his own song”.) The library offers visitors, especially younger people, the opportunity consider the Russian avant-garde  in all its complexities, and, then,  inspired and/or disturbed by this knowledge, to create their own manifestos that will be printed, tweeted and exhibited on site.

I realize the current atmosphere in Russia  may make this project problematic, but I do think of this as a celebration of that early age of creativity in Russia, which, whether Putin likes it or not, was truly revolutionary. Is there any promise of revolution, let alone utopia left in the world? Is there any thought that art might play a role in this? Probably not. For me,  Obama was the great hope for change which never came. My personal belief  post-Obama is that  change  will come incrementally with strangers working together temporarily to accomplish small tasks. And, yes, I still harbor the naive hope that art plays a critical role in this.

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