PROTECTION was a project by Sergey Bugaev Afrika.
Curator: Erik Hagoort.
Sergey Bugaev Afrika spent 24 hours in an isolation cell on the psychiatric ward of the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam (AMC de Meren), from 11 am September 3, to 11 am September 4, 2008.
PROTECTION was a free re-enactment of Bugaev's earlier project KRIMANIA. In 1993, just after the fall of the Soviet-Union, Bugaev spent three weeks in a psychiatric hospital in the Krim, to observe ánd to be observed by both patients and staff. This was Bugaev's way to lay a fundament for being an artist.
Why hospitalize oneself again, 15 years later? Contemporary art in Russia is booming. Artists are driven by the ambition to be discovered. This ‘frenzy’ damages the artists and their art, argues Bugaev: "Art should be protected from itself. Let us withdraw art from transparancy, and veil it, like the Kaaba in Mekka."
With PROTECTION Bugaev took the lead with a substitute ‘compulsory’ hospital admission. During his stay in the isolation cell Bugaev Afrika was treated a 'classical' treatment, being naked except for a hospital cloth. Orange juice, coffee and tea were served, but nothing else. Some newspapers were allowed. Erik Hagoort was given permission to film Bugaev's activities for some 30 minutes.
Bugaev distilled the observation material footage into an installation for the INERTIA show, at W139 in Amsterdam (5 Sept. - 13 October 2008).
PROTECTION was part of INERTIA, a Dutch-Russian project of exhibitions, symposia and publications, by Erik Hagoort in collaboration with many many Dutch and Russian friends and institutions.
To see more about the installation PROTECTION, please check the INERTIA website inertia-art.nl/Inertia_Bugaev_2008.html.
PROTECTION was realized in collaboration with Sabrina Kamstra, coordinator Kunstzaken AMC, and Gerty Casteelen, head psychiatry AMC de Meren, and the staff of AMC de Meren.
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