The kinetic sculpture "Makhalych", which will be featured at the Burning Man 2016, is yet another incarnation of Vasily Schetinin's character Icarushka (a Russian intimate hypocorism for Icarus).
A quarter of a century ago, Nikola-Lenivets was founded as a settlement by artists, architects and designers who left cities for the sake of practicing the arts in the wild. Nowadays it is the biggest art park in Europe which occupies more than 600 hectares of land. Dozens of giant installations are situated here, although some of them were burned down during the traditional Slavic holiday, Maslenitsa aka Butter Week. It is symbolic that Makhalych (from Russian word "makhat'" — "to wave" or "to flap") will be built here for the Burning Man Festival.
The first prototype was made in the late 1980s. Schetinin managed to exhibit it abroad due to the fact that he was a member of the Soviet underground art group "Mit'ki". In those years, that was a true miracle. The second version of Icarushka became a symbol of "Peace Caravan", a festival of street theater arranged by Slava Polunin, and it was featured at exhibitions of several art and architecture museums.
Makhalych refers to a variety of archetypal images: primarily birdlike flying machines by Leonardo da Vinci and Soviet avant-garde architect Vladimir Tatlin. A human figure, equipped with wings, is always the symbol which stands to counter injustice, transcend borders and celebrate human thought.
Unlike Icarus, Makhalych: the Birding Man is a forty-yard giant who is not trying to get away to the sky. Pure movement is his final goal. This kinetic interactive object will be presented in the Black Rock Desert from 28 August to 5 September, 2016, Art Theme: Da Vinci's Workshop.
Vasily Schetinin was born in Moscow in 1965. He graduated from the Moscow Institute of Architecture. In the late 1980-s he was a member of the Soviet underground art group "Mit'ki". In the early 1990-s he worked with Slava Polunin on street theater festival "Caravan of fools". In 1989, he made his home and creative laboratory in the village of Nikola-Lenivets, which is situated about two hundred kilometers from Moscow. He is author of the 27-meter-high kinetic sculpture "Crane" and the wooden object "Gold Plated Taurus". Personal exhibitions: "The Birth of Ikarushka", Shchusev State Museum of Architecture (2003); "Mad tabouret" Gallery "1:1" (2005).