Toylike Kolomna / Igrushechnaya Kolomna
residency Art-Kommunalka, Kolomna (Russia)


Doesn't eat, doesn't talk, loves cherries, argues all the time

During the time spent at the residence, the artist Alena Tereshko devoted her life to teddy bears that live together with people of all ages. The conversations recorded on video show us pleasant communication on a topic that is quite familiar and conducive to conversation, because almost everyone in his or her childhood had a favourite rabbit, baby doll or dinosaur, with which one can go on an adventure. However, even with a short immersion in the study, the artist found cases that took an unexpected turn: toys show character and begin to act on their own. One decides to grow long hair, making its owner worried, the other helps people start a family and turns out to be a harbinger of the appearance of a long-awaited child, the third gets into trouble, for the sake of his salvation and the boy has to hunt a wolf. Perhaps these are fantasies that every child is happy to compose, but try to remember your stories related to the toy kingdom, and most likely they will meet the incredible.
The artist herself often communicates with toy characters. Her Kolomna journey began with "Home made Odyssey" - a project that arose from conversations with stuffed animals. The artist's husband, Antti Kukkonen, has kept his favourite toys from childhood. He knows everything about each hero - habits, biography, political beliefs. The scenes that Antti and Alena act out are closer to staged performances than to children's play, but in practice, conversations with the animal community actually work, turning simple domestic events, whether it is cooking fish soup or relaxing on the couch, into space for discussions about the disturbing socio-political environment.

Anastasia Kotyleva