Piotr Bely

belyi_08_0Piotr Bely was born in 1971 in Saint Petersburg, in 1989 he finished the SecondaryArtSchool under the Academy of Arts, between 1990 to 1992 he was a student of the ceramics and glass department of MuhinaCollege. From 1994 he has been a member of the Saint Petersburg Artists’ Union. From 1995 to 2001 he lived in London. In 2000 he completed his MA course in the department of printing graphics, CamberwellCollege. From 1999 he has been a Full Member of the Royal Society of Engravers. Now he is living and working in St. Petersburg. He works in the spheres of printing graphics, installations and sculpture. He is a teacher in the Smolniy Institute, St. Petersburg. His works are held in private and state collections in Russia and abroad.

Pinoccio’s library

The principal hero of the installation “The Pinocchio Library” (2008), the absent Pinocchio personifies, in Piotr Bely’s project, the figure of a sixties’ architect who is experiencing the architectural hopes and disappointments of his times. At the same time the wooden boy is the symbol of utopian ideology with its nature which strives towards the future. Harsh censorship established by the ideology leads to disillusionment in knowledge; Pinocchio’s wooden books cannot be opened. His library is a peculiar memorial to utopia which in itself is always memorial, which itself is not perceived as a utopia.

The books from Pinocchio’s library point to the form and material of a wooden log, they pass on that memory from which the hero was born. The library preserves the knowledge in which a real boy is conceived. Moreover, the library – is a memorial model of the city: vertically standing books, book shelves in “The Pinocchio Library” are an urban development, skyscrapers, the dream of the sixties’ architect. It is here that Pinocchio lives. The architecture is extremely social: the books from the Pinocchio library are his habitat. These books are precisely this absent hero. Imprisoned in the wooden books, Pinocchio represents inaccessible knowledge, the melancholy of the law of provenance. It’s as if Pinocchio’s father, with knife in hand, never came, the father who would have carved, would have given him form, pulled him out of imprisonment. The book-log preserves the secret. Knowledge is closed. Its voice is silent.

Olesya Turkina, Viktor Mazin

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