The village of Nikolo-Lenivets is a conceptual place. In the early 2000s, objects by the artist Nikolai Polissky appeared here, who, with the help of local residents, built a ziggurat there, first from hay and then from firewood, weaved a "media tower" from branches and populated an entire field with snowmen. Then the objects of "Nikola-Leniyetsky crafts" began to tour, then to Nizhny, and then to France, and finally, last summer, the scope of "crafts" expanded, they were joined by architects, and the festival "ArchStoyanie" was created, inheriting its name from the historical standing on the Ugra, when in 1480 Khan Akhmat came, stood and left, which officially ended the Tatar-Mongol yoke.
In the summer, as many as 16 objects were built in Nikola-Lenivets, some of which were preserved for various utilitarian purposes, and some just like that. Winter ArchStoyanie was timed to the Maslenitsa and three projects became its heroes.
According to the curators, Yulia Bychkova and Anton Kochurkin, in winter all nature is covered with snow, which makes the alienation between her and man reach a maximum. In winter, "we have to walk, wrapped up from head to foot like cosmonauts in a spacesuit, and drink vodka so as not to freeze." The aim of the festival is to shorten this distance and “make the winter communicative”.
Actually, Shrovetide is such a holiday, which has always had the goal of somehow building communication between man and nature, mainly with the goal of influencing nature - to burn winter so that spring comes. And communication between people in such cases is getting better by itself. There is nothing more communicative than Shrovetide. In our time, however, this holiday, many times killed and revived, has turned into a formal folk, partly costumed festivities with professional artists in the role of buffoons. Shrovetide in Nikolo-Lenivets is not like that, or rather, not quite like that. There were also costumes, food and festivities, but among the ephemeral decorations made of long wooden stakes. Savinkin and Kuzmin's children used the "Nikolino's ear" left over from the summer stand to jump into the snow, and the "Half Bridge of Hope" hanging over the bank of the Ugra River from Bashkaev's workshop gathered a large line of those wishing to feel the state of flight. The general attention was attracted by the well-"crane", with the help of a cunning mechanism lowering and raising the "head" with a bucket.
Towards evening, the authors of the winter "ArchStation" presented their objects. The architects of the Moscow bureau in the Winter Communications project stuffed a long polyethylene pipe with hay, and calling it a "heating main", invited everyone to sit by the fire. It turned out simple and practical - they sat in the hay, and threw hay into the fire. The fact that one can sit in the hay even in winter certainly brings one closer to nature, but winter communications must be recognized as more devoted to communication between people, and in general it turned out to be the most “humane” project. The other two projects turned out to be more abstract.
The beautiful, but cool nature of the winter Nikola-Lenivets turned out to be especially organic for the "Icing of architects", which froze up to the point of turning into large penguins. The topic of communication here appeared in the form of a teleport: the authors built a cubic house out of snow, from where the penguins came out at the appointed time, apparently transferred from the South Pole. Despite the fact that they were somewhat larger than usual, the penguins behaved very naturally - they posed for photographers, wandered around the clearing without fear of people, and from time to time played mating games.
The most difficult and profound was the object "On fire" of the "Project Russia" magazine, where as many as three communication options were built in the form of a layout. On the one hand, a small wooden house was burning on a scale of 1: 7, and all those present could sympathize with the toy voices calling for help, on the other - a perspective frame with a vanishing point somewhere above the horizon, a "window to the sky", the path to communication with higher powers … The spectators, standing on a round platform in front of the frames, confessed to the feeling “that someone is looking from above”.
The result is a whole knot of interactions: one viewer empathizes with those who are burning in the toy house, the other cries out to the heavens, and between the sky and the house there are their own connections - the sky looks through a schematic obscura camera at a staged everyday tragedy, and it will either help or not …
As conceived by the authors, two types of borderline situations are combined here - mythological-cyclical, Shrovetide, when at the turn from winter to summer something needs to be burned, and theatrical-dramatic.