All images by Darya Popova
Co-production with the Yekaterinburg Yeltsin Center. Directed by Vladimir Gurfinkel
What I Saw
Next, we’ve moved to the smaller space to see THE CONSTITUTION – theater’s co-production with the Yekaterinburg Yeltsin Center. Directed by Vladimir Gurfinkel with a group of 20 students-interns, this show is a very open and very straightforward political statement.
Throughout the piece, we see articles of the Russian Constitution projected on the wall: freedom of gatherings, freedom of speech and press, freedom to elect… And, actually, actually, at some point you just… Wait! This is the main law of my country! And it is also the directly applicable law! We should all just… like… sue them? Well, I don’t know… This probably won’t work… Because? Because courts don’t work. And? Because nobody believes in the power of the law. And finally? Because you, Yury, don’t believe in the power of law in Russia.
Alright. Back to the production, while I’m sure this internal dialogue of mine was exactly what the artists were after with their work. Gurfinkel and his students use Russian Constitution as a backdrop, and multiple textual sources – witness speeches, reports, poems, dairies, and newspaper-articles - to create the piece about 100 years of governmental injustice in Russia. The authors consciously mix up decades and even centuries, jumping from 2012 to 1929 and vice versa, so the tragic statement sounds loud and clear: with all the changes that Russia went through in the last century, our main, cruelest, and most violent enemy is our own state, our own government.