The creators of the Ural Biennale have placed ten large-scale macro-images of minerals in the arrivals zone of Yekaterinburg International Airport Koltsovo. The project was called AIRbiennial which means Artist-in- residence Biennale. But even for local people, not only for passenges and visitors it would be difficult to recognize in monochrome prints jasper, turquoise, malachite and especially magnesite or listvenite. The curator of the Artist-in- Residence program Zhenya Chaika came up with that project while she was looking at the Ural from a plane. Meandering rivers, the roundness of the lakes, the mountains full of convexities and polygonal fields, everything reminded her of the structure of the minerals she saw under a microscope at the laboratory of the Magnezit enterprise in Satka, Chelyabinsk region, where she was preparing a residence for the French artist Lea Barbazanges.
Starting point was association with the winter view from an airplane window, said Chaika, that’s why I wanted to add clouds on the picture. Cloudy effect appears because I took natural minerals instead of ideal laboratory samples. Natural minerals were very fragile. The most difficult "photomodel" was malachite. As it seemed to me it was the most natural, so because of stracture and volume, there were many lakes and nebulas. But magnesite was perfect and clear. It’s like look at the ice through the frosty air because for this shot we took correctly prepared laboratory sample.
But the most daring experiment was to remove the colors. When you saying the phrase “Ural stones” the first thing that comes to mind is “gemstones”. Because it’s much easier to love something bright. Is there anyone in the whole world who doesn’t like the landscapes of the Bali with its perennial kaleidoscope of colors? It’s doesn’t matter have you ever been there or just saw an advertising poster. Bright colors bring thirst for emotions and holidays. It is more difficult to love the Urals with it eight- month lack of bright colors. But many people like it and they don’t want to go and live on Bali. Like a hare or squirrel during winter period do not becoming less attractive in their white or silver fur coats, like a snow-covered forest and gray mountains, they have their special sharm, so the Urals in the cold season acquires a strict and majestic fascination.
The AIRbiennial project is jointly implemented with the leading Russian airport holding company "Airports of the Regions". The project is intended to become not only a calling card of the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of contemporary art but also the advertisement of the region. At the building of the former Instrument-Making Plant, Yekaterinburg, Gorkogo str. 17 all these photos are exposed as topographic maps and enclosed with green LED lines that symbolizing the airport lighting systems.