Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Janna Grak:
site-specific installation “Mural”,

ZBOR #10 

Site-specific installation

1800×200×400 cm, 320 elements, each 46×46×7,7 cm, wood, metal, pigment

Created as part of the exhibition “Believe Me! Sculpture between Appearance and Reality, Truth and Lies” at KIT gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany

Janna Grak:site-specific installation “Mural”,2008

Installation “Mural”, “Believe Me! Sculpture between Appearance and Reality, Truth and Lies”, KIT Gallery, Düsseldorf, Germany, 2008


The “Mural” was created and adapted specifically for the architecture of Düsseldorf-based KIT gallery (meaning “Art in the Tunnel”) in 2008. This dimensional geometrical installation consisting of identical 320 modules, each 46х46х7,7 cm, represents the idea of moving from a point towards three-dimensionality and is divided into five parts. The whole work is painted in graphite, and it is only in the final part that its severe architectonic “explodes” with colourful modules, painted in bright pigments. Here, as in her previous works, the artist uses the language of minimalism – pure geometric forms, smooth surfaces and rationally conceivable construction. Using the same-type module linkage, Janna Grak conceptualised the dynamics of sculpture in space.

The starting point in the installation is a “digital dot”, a pixel. The movement of the point creates a line, the movement of the line creates a plane, the movement of the plane creates volume, and them volume gives birth to a form, which closes the installation, facing the viewer as a counter-relief at the corner of the gallery, compensating the closed corner. Paradoxically, the sculpture does not stop at the form phase, making a transition towards painting.

The installation communicates with space, but also with the viewer who can enter its field and interact with the work by opening and closing the colour modules, making it an interactive variable sculpture. Janna Grak creates spatial monumental abstract forms, as well as small sculpted objects, combining various techniques and materials, such as ceramics, wood, and pigments. Many of the sculptor’s works can be transformed, often by the viewer. She often creates her sculpted compositions from same-type modules as “constructor forms” and “transformer forms”. Grak’s transformable sculptures can be viewed as mechanisms. Their language, apart from being a language of abstract art, is also a language of mechanics that names nothing, it is a speech devoid of nomination. Its sole and absolute message is the movement. In an interview, Janna Grak says that sculpture “has a right to move”. But unlike the “kinetic art”, the artist solves this problem without engines and motors, but with the help of the viewers, humans, thus humanising a geometric abstraction.


Janna Grak (born 1971, Minsk, Belarus) – artist, sculptor, member of Revision art group.

Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Text: Sergey Shabohin, Tatyana Kondratenko, KALEKTAR ©


This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.