In the endless amount of time I’ve spent on playgrounds while my kids have been playing, made up a lot of ideas for my own playgrounds, and also become a fan as well as a hater of the many that exist in various countries. that I have visited.
The playground in an amazing way gathers the hopes and despair of today’s society, perhaps much more than any other public art project because it needs fewer resources to build and it immedially accessible to the public.
In ’90s Russia, my little daughter played in a playground covered with ads for cheap yogurts; in New York in the 2000s, my son played in a playground made mostly out of security specs; later, in Berlin, he was steering a pirate ship in a beautiful playground built in a Turkish neighborhood by enthusiasts who seemed to have escaped all limitations and construction codes.
I also have my own dreams, sketches and descriptions of playgrounds and am looking forward to doing an APTART exhibition on perhaps the most important public art of our time.
David Graeber and I once had a project called Visual Assembly. It was devoted to City of Care. Our friends from the Extinction Rebellion Art Group helped us to put it together.
It turned out that a space for play, for people of all ages to gather and to assemble with each other, could be a very important part of city life.
It turned out that a space for play, for people of all ages to gather and to assemble with each other, could be a very important part of city life. How can it be organized?
What is a playground anyway?
It can be a place where children are protected from the adult dangerous world and the adult world gets rid of children, but it can also be a place for realizing fantasies, social imagination, a place where the most important things that should happen in the city happen – people meet each other, communicate, plan the future, where the reproduction of culture takes place.
Working in Madagascar, David Graeber observed that the Community Assemblies organized by locals were made as fun festivals with songs and entertainment, not as boring bureaucratic meetings and power struggles, which makes them accesable and desirable for everyone.
We don’t yet know who will curate this exhibition and what objects will be on display, but we would like to organize a discussion about what such a shared space might look like and what it looked like in different cultures and at different times.