Personal show by Oleg Kulik.
Riding a ‘Kopeika’ Car
Difficult times. The situation with commissions is bad – either there are none, or those that come the commissioner doesn’t like and doesn’t take…
But then this funny incident happens. In the summer, a wonderful gallery wrote that they had been commissioned a sculpture. They wrote that the commission was strange, though.
— Who’s the commissioner?
— Unknown…but it is Our commissioner.
— And what does this mysterious commissioner of yours want?
“A retarded boy on a ‘kopeika’ car,” was the gallery’s answer…
— He wants a sculpture with this title.
There was a glimpse of a silly image of a rabbit with squinted eyes riding on a giant coin.
— And what else does he want? Is this a joke?
— It is for you to decide but you are not restricted in materials, size or interpretation of the subject.
— I am?? Offer it to Tolya Osmolovsky or better to Anton Nikolaev, he is good at naïve art and he will carve you anything, a genius on an oak tree or a retard on a rouble…
— No, Oleg, the commissioner wants it to be you to make this sculpture, — the gallery wrote.
I wondered what isolation does to people, they can’t even make funny jokes… — I decided so and forgot about it.
A month later, we had such a good time with a friend in ‘Chito-Ra’ on Nizhny Susalny lane that we had to go home arm in arm, the road turned out to be long and twisty…and I told him about the ‘commission’. My giggly friend laughed all the way and said in all kinds of ways: this is Faust – a retarded boy wants a ‘kopeika’ car, a retarded boy sat on the hood, a retarded boy wants to go to Tambov etc. At home, he saw an old photo of the ‘Mad Dog’ performance on the wall and suddenly said, “Here he is, a retarded boy on a ‘kopeika’ car.” I sobered up in a blink. That is what it meant!!!
— And you haven’t understood it?
— Noooo, damn… A retarded boy on a ‘kopeika’ car” How could I understand that he meant me??
— There, that is what you need, and you need to make it! — my friend said when he was leaving, — You are an artist, do the commission!! And you will understand who you are and if you are not a fool, you will understand who this Commissioner is.
To cut the long story short, I carved this image on a board to spite the Commissioner, responded to a joke with a joke. In the end, neither the gallery, nor the Commissioner, nor the Artist obtained the desired result. So, we are doing an exhibition of one work.