Kiev's St. Michael's Catherdral.
LONDON - My largest installation show to date, which has just finished in Kiev, was conceived spontaneously and almost immediately. A couple of months earlier, I was driving on a highway outside Tel Aviv when I had a phone call from Nataliia Zabolotna, the Director of the Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev. Nataliia invited me to visit the first International Biennale in Kiev to discuss the prospect of showing my works there. The idea was that I would participate in the Great Sculpture Salon as a guest of honour.
We had met before in Moscow, but this would be my first visit to Kiev, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. But the weather was hot and sunny, and I found everyone I met extremely hospitable. I stayed in the old part of the City surrounded by beautiful old churches overlooking the famous Dnieper River.
But of all the buildings, I found the Arsenal building the most impressive.
Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev.
Its vast dimensions, 25,000 sq. m. over two floors, was ideal for the ambitious art biennale, curated by the Briton David Elliot.
We chose a space. I would be showing three large installations. Blackfield, Evolution and Theory and Blackflowers. Knowing the minimum time required for my installations is twelve days with the help of 30 assistants on every shift, I figured out I would have to do two shifts of around fourteen hours a day to finish in time. Not easy but attainable.
Then a few days later I learned I had only seven days to complete the installation…