Artemy Lebedev is a famous contemporary Russian designer. He is well-known for harsh critics of what he calls ‘shit-design’ (design projects, made without proper understanding of the subject). Many people would call him dick, however, we think he is definitely Big Dick, due to his impact on Russian culture at least.
So, for the exhibition created by Richard Wentworth (Museums at Night MCR event) we decided to make a caricature Lebedev bust with «Лебедев - писюн» (‘Lebedev - willy’) written on it. Creating our object, we referenced Lebedev’s own designs (for example, a ligature for ‘хуй’ – Russian abusive word) and the spirit of Russian monumental propagandist art.
Lebedev in his ХУЙ [hui] tee.
When we brought the sculpture to Manchester Museum, we had poker faces, of course. It was amazing to see museum ladies write ‘Lebedev - pisune’ with serious faces. It was freaking worthy of spending several days and sleepless nights making the bust!
Happy Dmitry with the unhappy sculpture
Lebedev and me.
And it was beyond all our estimations to see our artwork in the hall of Whitworth Gallery next day and to hear a story of how the name of the object was translated twenty minutes before the exhibition opened =)))
Lebedev-willy in the hall of Whitworth Art Gallery
But the best outcome of the project was Richard Wentworth’s positive feedback. Honestly, we didn’t expect Richard to understand Western Europe propagandist art so deeply, as his conceptual explorative approach, investigating relationships of objects and phenomena, is quite different from heavy granite monuments, created by political propagandists in Russia and Germany.
The story will probably continue, as we are very curious about Lebedev’s opinion as well. We’re going to send him a report of the event and some pictures of the Lebedev-is-willy monument, and if we get any feedback from him, we’ll post it here immediately =)
Here are some pictures of the bust in process:
Dmitry ‘Maffusail’ Shevchenko
Anastasiia ‘Limilem’ Panchenko
Pictures by Shevchenko
P.S. Russian report by Dmitry is here