An unusual objet d'art has appeared in Satka. On Wednesday, official and really colourful unveiling of The Explosion sculpture took place near Khitry market. It author is an Italian sculptor, Jacopo Mandich, who spent several weeks working on his creation in one of the workshops of Magnezit Group production site in Satka.

A huge sealed envelope which appeared behind Charodeyka shopping centre made the people puzzled. A lot of townsmen gathered to have a look at the wonder. Loud music and the artists rehearsing nearby tripped up the spectators even more. The children who occupied the enclosed area were lost in conjectures:

“What will be here?” “Dancing or maybe a celebration?” “Seryega, there is a letter!” “And what is inside the envelope?” Impatient questions were arising in the growing crowd of Satka children again and again.

“Look, there is a water engine. They will probably melt the envelope,” made guesses older people.

And then the show began. Accompanied by the ever-popular song of Jon Bon Jovi It’s my Life the artists of fire theatre, fire dancers, came to the makeshift stage in front of the envelope. Their graceful movements seemed to follow the infinity sign. As if accidently the envelope took fire and Satka people gradually saw the content of the mysterious package – a metal ring with blocks of magnesite and dolomite fixed inside it. Multicolour sparks were dancing around as if giving a hint to the spectators on what to expect after the official part of the event… The organizers of the project and special guests addressed the people.

Alisa Prudnikova, the commissioner of the 3rd Ural Industrial Biennale of Modern Art, director of the Ural Branch of the State Centre of Modern Art, was the first to greet Satka people:

“Satka has become one of the sites of the Art Residence Program of the Biennale. It is still unsettled whether it will be a permanent residence or not,” emphasized A. Prudnikova. “We hope you like the sculpture and this place will be attractive both for the local people and tourists. After all, the primary objective of the Ural Biennale is to make industrial towns interesting and pleasant for living.”

According to Alexey Betekhtin, the Ministry of Culture of Chelyabinsk Region, who visited the unveiling, Satka has already become not just an interesting town; it is outranging the regional centre in terms of the number of cultural events and their level.

“I have recently visited them more in Satka than in Chelyabinsk,” said A. Betekhtin. “I come here several times a year to visit interesting events which are important not only for Satka by the region in general. The present unveiling of an unusual sculpture is one of them. The Explosion, as many other pieces of modern art, can be interpreted in various ways. I think it can symbolize the meteor fall which made Chelyabinsk famous in the world.”

The unusual sculpture made mixed impressions on the spectators. The people who came to the unveiling expressed various ideas. For example, Vera Terentyeva, the head of Right to Life literature club of Satka Society of People with Disabilities, thinks that The Explosion sculpture implies an infinity wheel aimed at uniting her countrymen and boosting the townspeople for creative work.

To make everything clear, the author told about the meaning of his work with the help of the interpreter and project supervisor Evgeniya Chaika.

“It is difficult to tell a single meaning, there are numerous interpretations. I think everyone will see something own in the sculpture,” said Jacopo Mandich. “As for me, I give it two main meanings. First, it is a reminder of the moment when magnesite is taken from the mine by explosion. Second, the sculpture symbolizes the Earth crust, our planet with its continents and large expanses of water. However, the material keeps lots of secrets, and Satka people will reveal new meanings of The Explosion in the course of time. At the moment the sculpture is not finished and I hope today everyone will be able to reveal his/her creative potential taking part in painting The Explosion.”

The possibility to become co-authors of the peace of modern art became the major attraction. Buckets with red, blue and yellow paint had been specially prepared for this. At first, at the author’s request, The Explosion received red splashes symbolizing joy, fire and sun. They were made by Ministry of Culture of Chelyabinsk Region Alexey Betekhtin, Head of Satka District Aleksandr Glazkov and Jacopo Mandich himself. Then the children got into action. With enthusiastic shouting they splashed paints of various colours on the sculpture not forgetting to paint themselves and the friends as well, so some of them, painted from top to toe, seemed brighter than the Russian-Italian work.

The adults did not lag behind – lots of Satka people followed the lead of the officials. However they did it much tidier than their children and grandchildren. When they run out of paint, it was time for the selfie with the Italian sculptor against his work. Having made a photo the luckiest immediately shared it and their mood through social media with the friends who missed the party.

All Satka people and guests can see The Explosion sculpture, and every spectator can assess the work of the artist and the meanings laid by him.

Elena NIKITINA, photo of Aleksandr KRAEV

Evgeniya Chaika, the supervisor of the Art Residence Program of the Ural Industrial Biennale of Modern Art:

“I think, in a big city it would more difficult to arrange something similar and get such warm home-like effect as in Satka; there would be more formalities and restraints. The reaction here is joyful and spontaneous. This is really good! In addition, during his stay in Satka Jacopo made lots of friends and all of them came to the unveiling. There is certainly a language barrier, but as for the art, people are united not by words but visual images and the possibility to express their vision of the world through material.”

The Explosion sculpture is a metal ring symbolizing repeatability with magnesite and dolomite blocks hung inside on the metal structure forming the picture of a tectonic explosion of material. The Explosion sculpture is rarefaction and contraction, the cycle of construction and destruction calling out to the history of the used stone drawn up from the interior of Satka earth by explosive power of dynamite. A metal rocket is another element of the sculpture; it is fastened to the wall as a symbol focusing on the use of magnesite in heavy industry. The idea to paint the stones of the sculpture together with Satka people came to the sculptor after meeting townsmen who were tired of grey town space and complained about the lack of bright events and gathering places.

At the moment, another sculpture of Jacopo Mandich also made in Satka is exposed in Ekaterinburg. It is called To the Utmost Stone and symbolizes an open pit teaching careful handling of natural resources.