Be My Guest
POLYETHYLENE, COTTON THREADS, PLASTIC BEADS, SWANSDOWN
Project ‘Be My Guest’ is an installation where artist Natalia Grezina invites all those wishing to participate. Folding bed and embroidered polyethylene bed clothes are metaphors for domesticity which symbolises deep personal space of a single human. Being transferred into emblematic cultural space, these items take the new meaning and that marks the attempt of private field penetration into public one. Museum has been chosen by the artist not by coincidence, because every beginning author has ambitions and is striving to gain acceptance. The artwork exhibited in the museum refers to acceptance by art community that gives bragging right and new communication possibilities. This project is about relationships between beginning artists and museum institutions which are a part of firmly established art system. Beginning artists are put in the cross hairs and facing conflicting requirements. On the one hand they should be strong and provocative so that their art would be fresh and eye-catching. On the other hand art community is a restricted world, so they should know the game and play by the rules. In this particular poject museum is a composite character of art community, its most popular part for spectators however inaccessible for beginning artists. Spectators can easily access the museum because it is opened to the public, but for beginning artists it is thorny path and metaphor of acceptance. This duality turns certain place for particular artist into ‘no-place’ which is demonstrated through the symbols of folding bed and linen. They become irrelevant items inadaptable for sleeping. Polyethylene doesn’t make the body warm and it’s impossible to sleep in the public place, that’s why people feel cold and disengagement when find themselves in that bed. The same is for beginning artists following the process of integration into art community system, where perceived openness is masking remoteness and competition, and accessibility is just an empty promise. Transparency of bed clothes means sincerity, open mind and feelings, which are attributes of every artist’s work. Natalia Grezina invites the spectators to become a part of museum space, lie down on the folding bed and feel the pressure of the surrounding, thus putting them in the beginning artist’s shoes.
Text by Maria Udovydchenko