The installation was made in the Berezovsky quarry of the city of Satka. Magnesite had been extracted in the quarry for the production of refractory materials since 1980, and the mineral extraction was stopped at the end of 2020. The pumps pumping water from the bottom of the quarry were also turned off, and now it is slowly filling with water. After some time, there will be no traces of production and only a large turquoise lake will remind visitors that there was once a mineral extraction site.

The installation includes 250 mirrors fixed on the benches and walls. The mirrors are configured to reflect sunlight on the quarry walls in shade and on the water. The artificiality of the landscape, its contemplation through mirrors and refracted light creates a space similar to the Japanese garden of stones. Many mirrors are mounted in the shadows of the benches, behind the stones, and reflect the quarry itself on those sides that were invisible to the viewer. The installation helps the viewer to interact with those places of the quarry that used to be hidden and change the usual points of view on its landscape.

The quarry is perceived in a new way through the mirrors and reflections. But it is obvious that a new form of perception of the artificial landscape is impossible without the presence and contemplation of a human being. The universe is reflected in a person, and we see how the human world is reflected in the quarry through the mirror installation. Over time, the quarry will be flooded and will go underwater together with the installation, so the audience witnesses the disappearance of the artwork at the time of its creation. The gradual flooding of the quarry will take more and more mirrors away from the viewers. In the end, it will be impossible to see the reflection, there will be no observers and hence no contemplation.

The size of one mirror is 125 cm, the size of the entire installation is 240,000 sq.m.

The work is a part of the 6th Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art.

Source: Official site of Vasiliy Kononov-Gredin. Photo by Vasily Maksimov, Valery Vorobyov