Autumn to bring true extravaganzas

International Mammoth Festival in Minsk to show riot and abandon of contemporary avant-garde art for twelfth time

By Darya Polynskaya

The organisers prepared spectators for the flamboyant show in advance, making the potential audience aware of the nature of its unique content. Their 20 minute presentation brought even the most sophisticated spectators into a trance.

Barmaglot (Jabberwocky) Plastic Studio demonstrated true Brazilian passions: love, birth and death. Two creatures dressed in outfits made from plastic bags gracefully skipped onto the stage and produced unreal sounds, thrilling the audience’s imagination with striking symbolism. Spectators shifted nervously in their chairs and then loudly applauded; it seems that the more unintelligible a show, the more genius it displays.

Phytoartdesign Studio presented an original collection of clothes, with wonderful girl-insects wearing cellophane cocoons and dragonfly glasses creeping onto the stage. Smoothly moving, they pushed dung balls before them.

The show finished with a brutal collection, entitled ‘The City of Anthropomorphous Boxes, or Following the Traces of Salvador Dali’. Costumes made from paper, polyethylene, foil and other materials won’t be certainly worn in daily life but the Festival’s producer, Yuri Budko, is confident that these must be sewn. “Our Mammoth is a place for masters to meet and chat, working in adjacent areas yet jointly creating something completely new. Clothes are works of art but can also be part of a performance,” he notes.

The fact that the Festival has been regularly organised since 1995 shows that art can exist for its own sake. The forum has been the starting point for many Belarusian designers and stylists, so what should spectators expect to see in early October? The Festival traditionally begins with a contest demonstration of avant-garde fashion and body art. The competition of video art has become an innovation, with video performances (lasting no longer than five minutes) presented to the jury.

Concerts will also please those present, with Vladimir Chekasin, one of the world’s most authoritative performers of avant-garde jazz, performing.

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