Thirty-Three Characters is a new exhibition by the Manege Central Exhibition Hall in partnership with the ARKI Creative Workshop and the HSE Art and Design School in St Petersburg. The exhibition, held with the participation of the Innovation and Youth Initiative Support Foundation of St Petersburg, will bring together a series of street installations dedicated to the Cyrillic alphabet. It will reveal the interrelation between traditional Russian culture, modern art, contemporary font design and typography, and St Petersburg’s unique city landscape.
Thirty-Three Characters forms part of Manege Outdoor — an initiative begun by the exhibition hall with the aim of creating open-air cultural spaces and improving the urban environment.
The centrepiece of the exhibition will be an enormous labyrinth built in the shape of an «a» letter. As the visitor explores it, they not only delve into a playful, large-scale installation, but also begin to view Cyrillic letters from a completely new perspective.
Modern Russian artists and typeface designers created 15 installations which take the form of living Cyrillic letters, including those which are no longer in use in modern Russian. Installations are located on the territory of museums, iconic cultural sites and in modern urban spaces of St Petersburg. The project is supported by the State Russian Museum, the State Museum of the History of Saint Petersburg, the Museum of Theatre and Music, Planetarium No. 1, Art Station and contemporary urban spaces such as Sevkabel Port and Nikolskiye Ryady.
Idea — Andrey Punin, Mitya Kharshak, Yury Gordon
Curator — Mitya Kharshak
Architect — Andrey Punin
Producer — Dmitry Krylov
Head of Manege Outdoor initiative — Anna Yalova
Featured artists: Boremir Bakharev, Pyotr Bely, Andrey Voronov, Yury Gordon, Marina Koldobskaya, Pokras Lampas, Andrey Lyublinsky, Andrey Punin, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Nikita Sazonov, Ekaterina Filipenko, Alexander Florensky, Mitya Kharshak, Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai, Yury Shtapakov.
In addition, artist and calligrapher Viktor Pushkaryov created a series of typographic videos especially for the project. These are dedicated to each letter of the Russian alphabet.
State Russian Museum — the Russian Museum is the largest museum of Russian art in the world, occupying several architecturally and artistically significant buildings and locations in Saint Petersburg’s historic centre.
Rostelecom — the country’s leading provider of digital services will leverage its technological capabilities in its support of Manege Outdoor. This will include setting up a free Wi-Fi zone in the square in front of Manege.