Anna Martynenko

"120 Moos", in collaboration with Turben, 2019–2020

curator Albina Motor
Site-specific installation for the Benois garden, St. Petersburg

At the beginning of the twentieth century the Benois dairy farm was broadly known throughout St. Petersburg as exemplary agricultural enterprise. In one of the newspapers of that time a note, describing the conditions in which 120 cows were kept, has been preserved. “We go to the premises where 120 cows of this dairy farm are standing. I assure you that not every person has such a clean, bright, spacious and warm shelter like these 120 cows. All the walls of huge cowsheds are not even cowsheds walls in the conventional sense, but huge bright halls with electric lighting. The ceilings here are whitewashed, the floors are tiled. The air is fresh and clean".

Turben depicted cheerful cows in the former silo tower of the Garden and Anna Martynenko filled the visual content with sounds. Inside the building visitors can hear the sounds "moo" made by 120 different people. These sounds are contrasted with the sound of a special bell, called botalo, and worn by a lonely cow, grazing in the meadow. A special mechanism sets the botalo in motion, causing a characteristic sound, heard both inside and outside the tower.

Sound of 120 moo: