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Everyone wants to know

New Year's installation at the western facade of the Manege,
greeting cards for friends and partners

the Manege Central Exhibition Hall

Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2021-2022

This year, the Manege Central Exhibition Hall invited me to come up with a concept for decorating a New Year tree in front of the western facade of the building. The title of the project - "Everyone wants to know" refers to the children's counting rhyme about the rainbow and at the same time creates tension. First of all, this is a work about my own state at the end of the year. But, since it was created specifically for public space, its meaning expands to a socio-political context.

The New Year, like any milestone, is a time not only for joy and summing up, but also for reflection - questions to oneself, to society and the state. This year, like the last one, was difficult. Many questions remained unanswered and the whole world hung in a state of uncertainty. We often run away from this and strive to find answers as soon as possible in order to get back into a familiar and understandable rhythm. I propose to legitimize this condition and to look at it openly. Yes, we have a lot of questions. We don't know when we will be safe again and will be able to freely cross the borders. We don't know how to influence the political and environmental situation in our country, because any disagreement is pursued here. In this very difficult time, we are confused. How long will it last or is this a new reality? Nobody knows. We need to accept this state and give it time and place in our lives. The same as we do with the holiday.

Editing and video: Emil Islamov, 2022

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