Travel as Art. Since 1994

 

In 1994 The Cherkashins were invited by Steve Yates, the curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico,

to participate in the show and to create a personal exposition, which was installed in . After that they made a grand tour of 10 states of America from April until June. On this tour they visited many cities and museums and met a lot of people from various strata of society. For the first time in their life they were able to leave Russia and to travel abroad. They were deeply impressed by other countries, cultures and traditions and expressed their new inpressions in various performances and happenings. Since 1994, the Cherkashins have been working on the theme of "Travel as Art."

In October to November 1994 they went to Great Britain to continue their work on this theme. They've been to London, Oxford, Hereford, Cambridge, Yorkshire, Edinburgh.

Later they traveled a lot and continued their work in  Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Japan, Mongolia, China, Sweden, Switzerland and more...

 

Bathing of works of art from the collection of Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum. 1994-1996

 

In 1994 in San Francisco Valera and Natasha for the first time saw the Pacific Ocean. They were impressed by it's strengh and power and decided to make a gift to the ocean. They gave it one of their best art works. Since that time they started to work with water. They continued to bathe their pictures in other oceans, rivers and fountains of the world. Step by step it brought them to the idea of an underwater exhibition, which was held in Olympia Sweeming pool in Berlin in 1996.

The liberation and flight of an art  work from the head of the Statue of Liberty. 1994

 

Gift to American people from Russian artists after their first trip around the USA. During their first trip in the United States, the Cherkashins have visited more than 15 cities, met more than a hundred new people. Their works were acquired by several museums and many private collec-tors. They wanted to give something to American people in return. They choosed to do it from the statue of Liberty.

New York, June 1994

The Gift to New Yorkers from the Air Plane. 1998 

 

The Cherkashins have visited United Statem several times since their first trip in 1994. Each trip brought them more interesting and productive meetings. Their atr was well accepted and under-stood. Their good friend Betty & Sevgin invited them to fly at the airplane around Manhattan.

Flight at the airplane around Manhattan above New York. So they decided to make another gift

of a work from the Cherkashins collection to the American people above Central Park. 

New York 1998

Exhibiting Valera for the Turner Prize, London 1994

 

Visiting London for the first time, the Cherkashins couldn't miss The Tate Gallery. They spesially liked the sculptures of Antony Gormley, which were participating in the competition for the Turner Prize. They dicided to support the artist. Natasha Cherkashin exhibited her husband together with the sculptures.

London. Tate Gallery. November 1994 

Japan. Solving a polical problem in an artistic way. 1999 

 

Before coming to Japan, we heard a lot about the problem of the four northern islands. Political leaders are trying to find some solutions and have made some steps already toward solving some problems, for example, entry without a visa.Being artists, we made our distinctive contribution towards finding a solution to this problem in the form of art, without politics. We decided give back our personal symbolical part of this debt to Japanese people, so we've brought 1.5 kg of stones from Russia and are going to make an "action of returning" of our part of land to Japan. We created this artistic performance in the ODaiba area (Ariake) near the shore, where new land has been created by filling in the sea. There we plan to put the stones we brought from Russia in the shape of the four islands. In creating this work of art, we hope that, in the future, this will become a place where every Russian visitor to Japan can bring his or her own, personal symbolical contribution of stones or pebbles.Later, when enough material has been accumulated from Russian visitors, we hope to return and to create small models of these islands (several meters in size), in the water, as a remembrance of a historical situation that, we hope, will have been.

 

In the morning of October 17, 1999 there was a publication about this performance in "Sankei Shimbun" by Yasuo Naito. Several days before there also was a publication in "Asahi Evening News"by Monty Di Pietro. (Some material about us was published in "Yomiuri Shimbun" by Kioji Maeda but not about "Stone project") Several Japanese people joined us and our friends after these publications. One of them, Mr.Yoshihiro Sugiyama 12 years ago, when he was 60, ran across Japan from the South to the North several thousand kilometers and at the boarder with Russia on the shore he cried: "Russians give us our Islands back!!!" But as you may guess nobody replied him. After that he hated all Russians and was sure that they all think the same way. He was very excited when he found us at the shore and told us this story.After returning our part of the land, we suggested Japanese people to sign the Peace Agreement personally with us . (You may know that still there is no Peace Agreement between Russia and Japan after the world War II because of this problem). Finally we had some Champaign for the established Peace and collaboration. After that we all went home with the feeling of fulfilled mission.

One Step Towards Each Other. 2000

 

You can see from maps of Japan that the nearest point to Russia (Sakhalin) is Cape Soya (Hokkaido). Thanks to an invitation from Wakkanai University and Professor Masami Suzuki, the Cherkashins had chance to continue the idea of developing relations between our countries and rapprochement of Russia and Japan with the help of art.
They've made a real step towards it. They've added some stones at the northern point of Japan, put them in the water in the direction of Russia, and made our two countries one step closer to each other. Both Russian and Japanese citizens helped the Cherkashins  very actively. 

Cape Soya, Hokkaido. Japan. 2000.

Intersection in Mongolia. Supremacist Meditation. 2002

 

A group of international and Mongolian artists created a series of installations for the international art project "Intersection". Their concepts were diverse, fresh and exciting. 
Valera and Natasha Cherkashin's installation-performance was entitled "Supremacist Meditation". It consisted of four black and red squares made of newspaper "Pravda". The first square was orientated towards the East, the second towards the West, the third pointed up to the Sky and the fourth was on the ground. 

Valera Cherkashin, in Mongolian national costume, shot arrows from a Mongolian bow through the squares to the East, West and, finally, into the Sky. Then the Cherkashins joined the three squares together with red ribbons. This was meant to symbolise the unification of Eastern and Western wisdom and their ascension into the Sky. Through meditation this wisdom would return as universal truth…  
Finally, the Cherkashins set fire to their installation and destroyed it as Mandela.

 

Goby Desert Landscaping. 2002

 

The Cherkashins planted some newspaper flowers in Goby Desert and watered them with Russian Vodka. They have had the idea of doing such an exhibition in a desert for a long time. Their newspaper flowers could survive without any water. At last they had the chance to make it happen!