The place for this action was found using the Google ‘Earth’ software (a circular field, 260m in diameter, within the “Losiny Ostrov” region, approximately 1, 5 km east of the place where the action “Fisherman” took place in 2000).
The viewers (22 people), together with the organizers, began by moving through deep snow and avoiding impenetrable foliage they traveled into the depths of a forest via a cutting through the trees. They traveled for about 2 km until a field was reached. In the center of this snowy field, was a white cardboard box and on top of this was a CD player, which played a recording entitled “German Romantics”, a work composed by S. Zagny especially for this action (69 minutes long).
Alongside the perimeter of the field and attached to trees were 21 portraits (A3 format paper attached to slightly larger cardboard sheets) of 22 German romantics (the Brothers Grimm constituted one portrait). They were arranged in the following sequence:
Ludwig Achim von Arnim (1781-1831), Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768-1834), Ludwig Tieck (1773-1853), Fridrich Schlegel (1772-1829), Adelbert von Chamisso (1781-1838), Joseph von Eichendorff (1788-1857), Bettina von Arnim (1785-1859), Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811), Clemens Brentano (1778-1842), Ernst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann (1776-1822), Wilhelm Hauff (1802-1827), Jean (Johann) Paul Friedrich Richter (1763-1825), Johann Joseph von Görres (1776-1848), Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (1777-1843), August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845), Novalis (Friedrich von Hardenberg) (1772-1801), Ludwig Uhland (1787-1862), Eduard Mörike (1804-1875), Karoline von Günderrrode (1780-1806), Wilhelm Heinrich Wackenroder (1773-1798).
Small holes were made in the right lower corner of each of the cardboard portraits and 2 metre pieces of the rope were installed. This was done for each of the portraits except Kleist’s portrait, which was 6 x 6sm and enclosed in a metal frame under the glass. Once all the portraits had rope attached, two viewers (Y. Leiderman and G.Medvedev) were asked to walk around the field and to gather in all the ropes (i.e. to remove the rope from the portraits) and to bring them to the center of the field where the box and CD player were located.
The ropes (20 pieces) were placed inside the box. The recording “German Romantics” was changed to “It’s Better than World War II” (47:54) (a recording of a dialogue between AM and NP, recorded for this performance the day before). Once this was done the viewers started to make their way back through the forest. The CD player, still playing the second recording, was passed through the chain of participants (each kept the player for about 2 minutes). The portraits of the German Romantics were left in the field.
At approximately 250 meters from the end of the forest and amidst the cutting into the forest was a spindly tree. The box used in the action was attached to this tree at a height of 2 meters. On one side of the box a big sign in black letters proclaimed the word: “ROPE”. Pieces of rope had been taken out of the box in advance, and were handed to the viewers as a ‘factography’ along with laminated sheets (A5 format) with signed portraits of the romantics (there had been no signatures on the portraits suspended in the field). Approximately half of the portraits distributed to the viewers were the same as the portraits in the field the others were painted by different artists and showed the Romantics at different ages.
The empty box with the “ROPE” sign was left on the tree. The viewers and organisers departed the forest (the total distance from the clearing in the snowy forest to the field was about 5km).
Moscow region, Losiny Ostrov
A. Monastyrski, N. Panitkov, E. Elagina, S. Haensgen, S. Zagny, M. Sumnina, D. Novgorodova, I. Makarevich.
Viewers: M. Riklin, U. Kisina, Y.Leiderman, V. Zaharov, M. Prudominskaya, U. Albert, O. Sarkisyan, D.Machulina, S. Kalinin, M. Krekotnev, U.Ovchinnikova, I. Buruy, M.Leykin, A. Zaytceva, G.Medvedev, A. Zhilyaev, S.Ogurtcov, N. Busheneva, I.Trushevskiy, V. Egorov, V.Uzbashev, A.Leksina.