“Lecture hall” is a project and action about knowledge, culture and education, which we dire need. Nikita Shalenny creates a metaphor of new civilizational approaches: they already exist, we just need to try to understand them.
Within the framework of “Lecture hall”, a number of speeches of famous curators and critics were preliminarily announced (by an anonymous person and an independent organisation). An obligatory condition for conducting lectures is that all seats must be occupied.
The place for the lecture was arranged on the facade (vertical wall) of the building. The chairs were arranged in rows as well as a separate place for the lecturer. At the appointed time, people came. Formally, everything was true: the lecture place on the second-third floor and the availability of seats but it would not be possible to get on it.
During the action three lectures were held:
- “Open thoughts”. Deborah Svallow was announced as the lecturer, she is professor and head of The Courtauld Institute of Art in London. The lecture hall was located on the facade of the Artsvit gallery. Before the lecture, the artist asked the local artists, art critics, managers, journalists, anyone who somehow related to Dnepropetrovsk culture – to express their opinion about the city, its culture and art using an anonymous standard questionnaire. The printed results were placed on chairs and every passer-by could read them. Also on the front door was placed a poster with the “Instruction how to attend the lecture.” On the other side of street, viewers were offered to use binoculars and to read the text on the chairs.
- “Why did nobody come?”. It was announced that Anda Rottenberg, famous art critic from Poland, will give the lecture. The lecture hall was placed on the roof of the art centre “Apartment” (on the side of the art centre is the Main Department of the State Service of Ukraine for Emergencies and on the contrary – the Main Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine in the Dnipropetrovsk region). Before the second lecture, it was also suggested to answer the questions about interaction with arts.
- Lecture-utopia “It is time to leave” took place under the fictitious support of the Department of Culture, Nationalities and Religions at the Regional State Administration. This lecture planned to be read by Marek Bartelik. This time the lecture hall was placed on the water in the Dnipro river and literally floated away from the audience that came to listen to the famous art critic. For the action, the city authorities allocated half an hour of time in the water area of the Dnipro.
The participation of all the lecturers in the project is contrived, but they are real people. We sent letters of apology for using their names. Nikita found Anda Rottenberg through a request to Google “the most famous critic of Poland.” Deborah Svallow is the director of the institute, in which Nikita Shalenny made a report in winter in 2015. The name of Marek Bartlek was found in the list of art critics.
As a result, the project is presented in the form of documentation: thoughts, answers to questions, the reaction of passers-by, comments from social networks under the publication of photos with chairs.
The first event “Open thoughts”, facade “ARTSVIT”, Dnipro, Ukraine.
Photo: Vita Popova.
The second action, “Why nobody came?”, art center “Apartment”, Dnipro, Ukraine.
The third event, lecture-utopia “It’s time to shove off”, water area of the Dnipro River, Ukraine.
“Dialogia”, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev Ukraine. Curator Oleksandr Soloviov and Alisa Logkina.