Playground
Casa dei Tre Oci, Venice, Italy
“The Way of Enthusiasts”, V-A-C Foundation
13th International Architecture Exhibition — la Biennale di Venezia
2012

Alexander Povzner’s project Playground is a reconstruction of a small public space designed for children’s play or physical exercise. This kind of playground was a common object in every Soviet court- yard, surrounded by typical apartment blocks.
The Playground in the exhibition is filled with dangerous objects that only recollect the real constructions of a playground. All of them are made from pieces of iron fittings, crude chains, and car tires and testify to the industrial nature of the city.
At the same time, they lack functionality: the carousel never turns, the ladder never reaches the top and the sandbox is empty. They are disfigured, and some seem to exist in different dimensions.

The playground, another indispensable part of the city district, is a unit in reporting of municipal improvements. The configuration and the architec- ture stayed the same for many years, and is still the subject of standardized arrangements. The artist treats the playgrounds as the place of initial spatial education, the moment of physical contact between a child and a city. The standard set of behavioral patterns of citizens can be in fact decoded by the alphabet of the objects of the playground, which are usually esthetically and morally neglected by the municipal authorities.
Povzner is known for working in the ready-made tradition. He deforms the context of use of the objects and places them in the unusual situations. At the same time, he slightly distorts the ready-made nature of things with which he works, rather using urban space itself as a ready-made.