Yuri Kalendarev

BREAD AND LIGHT. PAIKA "A Portion" (Ru). Detail of installation. Contemporary Art Museum, Sopot, Poland

6000 loaves of black bread lit by blue pulsating strobe-lights. Extinguished petrol lamp. Candle


The BREAD AND LIGHT project in Poland is related to the “Column of Light” project for Saint Petersburg, dedicated to two islands, two places of imprisonment. One island, with the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul, together with the surviving imperial prison, the “Russian Bastille”, is located on the Neva River, in the centre of the city of Saint Petersburg. The other one, the Goltzy Island, is on the Onega Lake, 500 kms. north of Saint Petersburg and was a “Straf Lager” (a punishment camp) for punishing GULAG prisoners in Stalin’s times. Prisoners on this island were forced to carve granite and were destined to slowly die of starvation. The daily portion, “paika”, of the prisoner’s bread was related to his ability to produce a certain amount of stones a day, which were piled in big rectangular blocks, the so-called “paika”.