Dear Azat, dear Sirs,
this is Peter Johansson/Barbro Westlings suggestion for the exhibition Gyumri International Biennial of Contemporary Art.
We think of this as our somewhat playful but longterm contribution to this year´s theme: “Transformation of History or Parallel Histories”.
We would like to build a permanent ice hockeyrink in Gyumri.
First of all we think of it as a sculpture. A public and physica piece of art with accomplished outer shape. If you look upon it with a strictly aesthetical mind the sculpture is unconventional as it turns its glimmering and polished surface to the iinside, hiding it from the spectator. What can be seen is nothing but an anonymous fencing. But the important thing, of course, is the use of the aesthetics. We would like this rink to be used each winter when the cold has taken its grip over Gyumri. When in use this sculpture is moving, exciting and always changing its scenery. Ice-dance, ballet, Icehockey, games the space is for everybody, to play, to learn, to watch! That is also the beauty of the art! The art that happens when there´s people around and so, belongs to the users.
Problems arise when summer and warmer weather is coming around. What happens to the sculpture then?
That´s something to think about. Meanwhile we indulge in dreams of a future Armenian hockey-team, of results like Armenia-Russia 1-0, and new parallel histories, yet not written, in sports.
We would like this to be our as well as our donators contribution to the Biennial and to the citizens of Gyumri. Work and play is usually separated and we are told to work first and then play. To construct and build an ice hockeyrink is hard work and craftmanship but the purpose of it is to enable play. And play is also a part of a new city, for the citizens in the new Gyumri.
We hope the Gyumri Biennial find our suggestion meaningful and exciting and that you will be able to give us your reaction/answer within short as we must start our work to make this project happen. We also hope that you will be able to help us find a space in Gyumri, both suitable for the Biennial and for the future use of the ice hockeyrink. The space must be flat and also quite big.
After having heard from you we will contact the Swedish national organization in ice hockey, firms of haulage for transportation and different brands for sport goods as well as economic contributors and sponsors. We plan to deliver not only an ice hockeyrink but also equipment and booths for the players, waterpumps and unit for diesel to make the ice as well as hoses for water.
With sincere art-greetings
Peter Johansson/Barbro Westling