Marc Marc Moscow - MarcMarc MD Artist - star Marc Marc Moscow - MarcMarc MD Artist - star
Marc Marc & Benten
Dutch Cheese
December 1994

Marc Marc Moscow - MarcMarc MD Artist - Looking to our cheese

Sergey Maloutin, our host in Moscow, asked us some days before our trip to Moscow if we would like to join an ice sculpture concourse. Although we were no sculptors and did not have the slightest idea what it meant to make a sculpture from ice, we were delighted to take some unknown action.
The day after our arrival we had to start straight away because it should have been ready the next day. We had decided before to let our ice sculpture be a monument for Dutch cheese. This was inspired by a news paper article about Dutch butter in relation to a Russian poet who wrote some promotion poems about Dutch butter to be sold in Russia during the Stalin period. Cheese, Butter and Potatoes are a big deal in Russia and thus an important part of their food culture. The creation of our sculpture had to be a performance rather than a serious sculpture. Of course we did not tell anybody. For them we pretended to be sculptors - very seriously busy with our sculpturing.

Ministry of Culture, Russian federation
Organizing Committee

View official document

. . . Cheese
It was hard to instruct our ice rock suppliers how we wanted the rocks to be stacked on to each other. It was so simple (see photographs) that they could not get away with it. But, since they were told that I was the artists and thus the authority, they tried to do the best they could... while mumbling something like:

Noo Walodia... ti panimayesh kak on gotyet? Nyet Sacha, Ya neeeee paneemayoo... noo~~ on goodosneek... on galanskee goodosneek!... davay.

Being busy (very busy) with modifying the ice rocks - a lot of real ice sculptures around us - people stopped at our stack, watched us working for a while (looking seriously) and then asking what our sculpture was meant for. We explained that we were making a 'postyament' for our Dutch cheese. Most of them then asked whether it would be real cheese (they asked it with a particular glance in their eyes). They were quit disappointed to hear that the cheese also would be made from ice.

Marc Marc Moscow - MarcMarc MD Artist - Special pose for journalists

. . . Interviews
In the afternoon, the TV teams showed up. Asking serious questions about our sculpture and because we were serious about it too, we did not grin when we replied. The next day the jury passed by - together with a TV team. Again we explained about our monument in very serious terms, like we had been doing already for many times to our audience.

. . . After dark

After the park was overwhelmed by the dark and all sculptures were ready, the party began. Loads of people and vodka everywhere (it is hard to believe that people can have so much fun at 25 degrees below zero). We settled ourselves with many others at the ice cafe. Real size, including a 'terras' with decoration pillars and vases and tables - all build from ice. Russia at its best. The more cold it is the better they feel and believe me it was fu... cold that day.

. . . The party

Victor is drunk. Victor is pointing his gun at us. It's nice to drink vodka together standing around a table made from ice. Cheers Victor, please put that gun away - we believe anything you say. The vodka did us forget that there also was a ceremony going on which should tell us who won the prices. Somebody came up to us, telling we won the price for the best original sculpture. Cameras coming. Interviewer wants to speak German. Since I'm quit drunk already it could have been any language. Requesting me to wish the Russian people a happy new year. It's quit a television tradition in Russia to keep wishing for many weeks. Hours of programming handle about this - inviting all the artists, writers, singers, pop stars and television people to drink to the Russian people and culture. So, I felt pretty honored to do so. I told them that winter time seemed to me the best time to learn to know the Russian people because they are at that time the most warm of heart and so on......... I did not get home by myself. My partner artist Benten took care about that. I'm afraid that I do have Russian blood. At least, I look a little like Lenin. Marc Marc Moscow - MarcMarc MD Artist - Marc Marc at work

. . . To our friends
We own special thanks to Sergey Maloutin; our supervisor, manager, bodyguard and baby sitter, Victor Chernasjov the director of the ice concourse for his hospitality and showing his gun, Ira for initial support, the jury for inventing a new price specially for us and to all the artists who invited us to their studios and gave us a good time (and vodka...hhpppss).
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