"“For the sake of soap"*, performance
The Laboratory of Art, “Capitalism as Religion” conference, NCCA, Moscow
“The most powerful protest arises from the chest of the most week and patient”. N. Dobrolubov
Concept. The more an art-system in Russia is being developed, the more an artist feels himself or herself defenseless and the more dependent he or she becomes on gallery-keepers, collectioners and other functioners that are thinking only about their own interests. More and more comes the question: who are the judges? The unjust judges for centuries would be given for the soap. But the contemporary world seems to be turned inside out: in reality those who get more often given to the soap are homeless dogs because society doesn’t need them, as well as it doesn’t need non-commercial artists.
Following this turned inside-out logic and as a sign of solidarity with the “world of homelessness” I am doing a revearsed action – I give to the soap of myself. This is a symbolic suicide, my last argument. I’d like to believe that this act of support, at least for a little while, will bring the world standing on its head back onto its feet and will bring back the original meaning to the words.
Materials: electric hotplate, 5 kg of the soap base, my hair, my nails, 5 containers of my blood, 2 pots, scissors, my shoes, my personal cards, knife.
Action: I fuse the soap base on the water bath, add the ingredients (my blood, nails and hair). I put the substance into the forms: my own shoes, put my visit cards on it.
Duration: 30 minutes.
* There is an idiom in Russia “to give somebody for the soap” that usually is used for judges or sport referees if they are not fair, or unjust. It comes from the process of making soap where people used as a soap base natural fats of the animal bodies (for example, dead cats or dogs). The artist uses this metaphore as the main concept of her Performance.