Garden of Children at Decompression Kyiv

At “Decompression: U augment US”, more than twenty art projects were presented. One of them was destined to become a symbol of this event.

illustration “The Will” by Anton Shevtsov.

The project “Garden of Children” began with an online message from the restless Vyacheslav Gudenok:

“I plan to make an Art project, “Garden of warming children”. It would have ceramic figures of children. Made of clay, decorated and baked. Inside, an alcohol burner is installed. The figurines are installed on the floor and available surfaces. The lamps are lit up at night and provide warmth through the walls of the ceramics. I plan to have more than 52 pieces. I would invite Decompression participants and their children to create their own figurine (led by Vyacheslav and Tatiana). Sculpting does not require a special skill. Anyone can make their own figuring, at a leisurely pace, within 45 minutes. Size of the figures – 35-40 cm in height. These figurines of children with their hands up will warm their surrounding people at night.”

It is not clear whether Slava knew that his project would become iconic for the community, turning into one of the symbols of “Decompression: U augment US.”

What did the magic consist of?

  1. It was a collaborative art project in which 135 participants took part. They created 156 sculptures. In fact, every tenth participant of Decompression created a sculpture, his version of the child figurine. Thus, one of the principles of Burning Man was realized – communal effort.

  2. Everyone could take part in the project, following the principle of radical inclusion.

  3. Of course, each participant created his unique sculpture, following the principle of radical self-expression.

  4. The overwhelming majority of participants had never held clay in their hands before, nor ever acted as artists and creators. Here, the principle of radical participation has become a reality.

  5. The project was free for all participants; there was no need to pay for clay or studio rent – and this is decommodification.

  6. After the end of Decompression, the sculptures were donated to the project participants. Thus, we did not forget about the principles of gifting and leaving no trace behind.

Analyzing what happened, we can say that the project was truly implemented in compliance with all ten principles of Burning Man – which is why it won our hearts.

The authors of the project, Vyacheslav Gudenok and Tanya Maksimchuk, dream of realizing the project at Burning Man 2019.