Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Olga Sazykina:
“Dialog or Tablecloth of Petals”,

ZBOR #19

Installation: table, black and white chairs, paper tablecloth filled with handwritten text

Originally presented at the exhibition “Texts” in the Museum of the Belarusian Academy of Arts, Minsk, Belarus

Olga Sazykina:installation“Dialog or Tablecloth of Petals”,1997

Installation “Dialog or Tablecloth of Petals”, Texts, Museum of the Belarusian Academy of Arts, Minsk, Belarus, 1997


Olga Sazykina creative work is a result of various media convergence which ranges from traditional painting, drawing and glass work to video, objects and installations. Most important material in the creation of her works is paper that the artist usually produces herself. Paper, in all its forms, is not only the artist’s sculpture material, but also the conceptual basis of her work, where the text is a logical continuation of the plastic.

One of the most prominent artist’s works is Dialog or Tablecloth of Petals, 1997. It is a round table covered with a square table-cloth made of the  letters of close people attached to each other. Layering of pieces becomes a kind of space arranging, geometrically and geographically, for the intimate correspondence of partners. On both sides of the table there are black and white chairs. As the artist says, “Table is like a throne – the basis for communication“. Barely readable fragments of layering force the viewer to consider the project as an object and result of a certain process, with inability to complete the decoding. Visualization of letters through the installation transforms it into a conversation that could hypothetically be continued verbally.

The Bremen Diary (1998), which was a modification development of the Dialog or Tablecloth of Petals, consisted of the text-messages, composed by representatives of different countries, cultures, languages ​​and ethnic groups. Each participant left his or her letter in the national language. Thus, a space for misunderstanding, decorated in a tablecloth, was formed. The table, as in the previous work, was a platform/basis for the “impossibility” of communication.

The artist continues the theme of communication and texts inclusion in many other works. So for the video Dialog (2010) Sazykina films only the hands of people sitting at the table and having a conversation. In this shot vertically video the viewer can see only hands movements, without any possibility to hear the dialogue. The boey aspect is present in many other works of the author. In the project Letter (2010), developing the theme, she puts glass, covered with hand-made paper, and tablets in the shape of Braille underneath. Also the topic of unreadable by viewer text is found in the series Diary of Breath. Lungs Mimics (1997), where the artist following the rhythm of the speech “breathing” and creates a verbatim pattern of totally filled linear field of “energy structures”.


Olga Sazykina (born 1955, Moscow, Russia) – artist, curator, professor.

Lives and works in Minsk, Belarus.


Text: Sergey Shabohin, olga Rybchinskaja, KALEKTAR ©


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