Nikolay Polissky

Border of empire

Archstoyanie 2007. Summer

The Border

Nikolay Polissky is an artist, the author of Nikolo-Lenivetskie Promysly (Nikolo-Lenivets Works) social project, participant of numerous Russian and international exhibitions, fairs, festivals, contemporary art exhibition projects including such a large-scale open-air festival of contemporary art as Art-Klyazma (2002–2004) and such international art fairs as  Art Moscow, Art Manezh, Photo Biennale in Moscow.
Personal and group projects by Nikolay Polissky who constructs in forgotten remote provincial regions giant tower-formed objects are an unique experience of transformation of rural landscape in Russia and other countries (Montenegro,  France, Yugoslavia, etc.) and involving of local inhabitants into the process of its realization. As a result, he solves a problem of creation of real national monuments (towers, ziggurats, houses, churches) in any geographical point of the world, which not only organizes the space but also turns out to be a cultural and social center of the region and contributes to efficient communication and attracts public attention.
One of the most tremendous collective projects by Nikolay Polissky, Alexander Panov and Nikolo-Lenivetz village inhabitants called Art-Bazar (Art-Market) was presenter at Art-Klyazma festival in 2003. Within eight years the artist has been working together with Nikolo-Lenivetz village inhabitants on various land art projects: ziggurats made of hay and firewood, 20-meter TV-tower, pleached of rods, flash-light at the Ugra-river bank, 100-meter aqueduct made of snow, gates into Moscow Park and many other projects. The artist uses cultural technologies for transformation of real everyday life of the project participants (peasants-artists). Thank to Nikolay Polissky initiatives, Nikolo-Lenivets inhabitants diversify their activities and income sources.   Polissky insists on considering the peasants as competent participants of the projects. Nikolay Polissky refers to his project as social utopia, reminding Velimir Hlebnikov with his dreams about houses-trees, sailing sledge and cloud-ships, working in public fields or Joseph Boyce with his theory of «social sculpture” and strong belief in idea that a real creator is not to make commercially interesting art project – he is to change the world by making each man believe that he is an artist…