“I’m a little tired,” Tima Radya tells me, smiling. The soft-spoken street artist was up until 3am the night before CutLog New York’s inaugural press opening last night. He was stacking, climbing, stacking his recreation of Stability Figure 1 — a giant pyramid of cards. The cards are riot shields.
This is the anonymous Yekaterinburg street artist’s first art fair. He got a bit antsy when we first met at the then-empty PS 160 building and biked off somewhere, leaving behind a Floresnkiy philosophy book. Heavy. Originally, Stability was built in a forest near Yekaterinburg. A crew of allies, dressed in army special ops uniforms stacked the 55 riot shields and topped it with a throne. It took hours. It stayed. It swayed. It came crashing down in minutes. Radya explained to the Calvert Journal:
I remember after I saw the protesters clash with the police on Bolotnaya Square in December 2012 … I really didn’t like it at all. That was a good example of a problem that cannot be solved with force. That using force is just a postponement of an actual necessary solution. That it’s just building a house of cards, which despite the strength of the materials has a very questionable stability.
The New York edition of the installation looks pretty solid.
Tima Radya has a growing legion of followers in Russia. Documentation of his largely unsanctioned repertoire — part spectacle, like the Molotov-cocktail-catalyzed burn graffiti portraits; part activism, like the “You Were Fucked” intervention ads after the Putin “re-election;” and always smart — are just now starting to trickle through the US blogosphere.
We can’t wait to see more of Tima.
Stability Figure #1 by Tima Radya is presented by The July 16th
cutlog New York, May 9 – May 13, 107 Suffolk Street, New York NY 10002
(Photos in slideshow: Marina Galperina and Eugene Reznik/ANIMALNewYork)