You begin with an impossible task, and then wait for somebody to bring in the power tools.
One week ago, we arrived in Prague, exhausted with excitement and ready to confront a travel-busted sculpture. While CLOUD certainly looked the worse for wear, over the past few days we’ve scrubbed her, de-rusted her, water-proofed her, painted her under-bits, and peeled off about 5-pounds of weathered and useless hot glue. There are many small fixes remaining, but we’re optimistic that CLOUD is well on her way to being more beautiful, magnetic, and alluring than ever before… giving her a slight advantage over Moscow.
Our workshop is located in Psary, a little town about one-hour train/bus adventure outside of Prague proper. Situated behind the house of a little Czech Family, we’ve grown to consider our time in Psary a miniature residency and a brief education about the Czech countryside. We’ve already made ourselves regulars at the local watering hole (the ONLY watering hole) and forged a tenuous relationship with our host, Petr, who doesn’t speak a word of English but welds like a magician. He’s also the man pictured above riding the digger… need I say more?
The Czech Republic has been fighting for the last rays of sun the season has to offer – fighting, and losing slowly. While today was bright and beautiful, we spent two full days nestled beneath a make-shift tarp tent, doing our best to bulb on despite the pounding rain outside.
Taking advantage of a break in the rain, we visited CLOUD’s installation location for the first time last night. Initially, we had some anxiety about the exhibition, especially considering the late-night nature of Signal Festival’s programming and humankind’s propensity for boozing and misbehaving. But after visiting the site, all our worries were swept away by the gentle whoosh of the river, the bickering of white swans, and the oh-so-beautiful lights of the nearby Charles Bridge. Somehow, the Signal team managed to find one of the only (relatively) untamed waterfront locations in downtown Prague, and we couldn’t be happier this calm and lovely pocket of riverside beauty.
Our understandings of CLOUD have grown and changed during our time in Psary. Mending a sculpture is much different than building a new beast, and we’re taking slow satisfaction in the nit-picky, detail-work of the job. After building the 15,000 light bulb epic that was CLOUD CEILING at Progress Bar in Chicago, we feel more than prepared to elaborate upon – and yes, improve – our Russian CLOUD. We’ve relished our meditative time in Psary, allowing our heads to clear and our minds to wander while buffing up for a big few days in the city. Phase I: almost complete. Phase II: onsite in Prague. Stay tuned!