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BURNED BRIDGE
Set, Props & Costume
Burning Bridge in Nikola-Lenivets
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Location: Nikola-Lenivets, Russia
Year: 2020

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Nikola-Lenivets is a small village in the Kaluga region in Russia, not far from its capital, Moscow. Around this village Russian artist, Nikolay Polissky has created one of the biggest art-parks in Europe. It encompasses 650 ha of land and serves as an experimental platform for artists, architects to eco farmers. On this platform, Nikolay managed to bring together the village community, provide the region with tourists flow and create a world-famous landmark. Among other things, the art-park includes objects made by famous architects, such as Yuri Grigoryan, Alexander Brodsky and others as well as many vivid and bright young practices and persons.

In 2019 the organisers of the park announced the task for a temporary construction devoted to the celebration of the end of the Winter. The construction was to be designed out of wood, limiting itself only by the budget and safety regulations. After its assembling, it was to be burned during the festival of Maslenitsa - an old folklore Slavic celebration.

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Concept illustration
Construction concept
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
The bridge was built and burned on Maslenitsa in Nikola-Lenivets. The project is called Burning Bridges. The idea of the concept literally corresponds to its name. The bridge expresses the irreversible changes taking place in the life of the whole world, as well as in the life of each individual.
The Bridge that grows right out of the field is a poetic image, a symbol of space, and, ultimately, a symbol of time. It was important for us to create an extended object, a path-object that is completely unique and doesn’t cause any specific direct associations, as it is from another civilization.
The structure was built by a team of local residents. Two towers 20 meters high and about 14 meters wide are connected by a platform. The length of the entire structure is about 70 meters. The post-and-beam frame made of wooden elements is filled with old pallets, hay and construction waste. Wood infected with bark beetles was used for the frame.
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
Construction concept
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
The authors sought to evoke in the viewer a sense of personal participation in what is happening. Before the burning, the audience could freely walk along the Bridge all day long and to cross it. It literally became a part of their life and a familiar part of the landscape.
The burning was preceded by a performance developed in collaboration with the St. Petersburg theater «La Pushkin». The performance was intended to unite people around the burning process. The audience became fully engaged in the events. People lined up in a huge ring. Everyone took firewood and put it on the Bridge, making a personal contribution to the future fire.
Thus, the burning became both a collective action and a deeply personal experience for each of the viewers.
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Concept about fire
Photo by Dmitrij Serebrjakov
Photo by Rustam Shagimordanov
Photo by Rustam Shagimordanov, Lev Zvezdnyj 
Photo by Rustam Shagimordanov
Photo by Maks Bezuglyj
Photo by @Dartr Nemec
Photo by @Dartr Nemec
Photo by Lev Zvezdnyj 
Photo by Grigory Sokolinsky
Photo by @Dartr Nemec
Video of process
Video by @Dartr Nemec
Memory drawings of lost Bridge
Photo by Aleksej Trahanov
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