A dot concludes a sentence. Here, however, it all started with a dot. Facing a blank sheet of paper you have a bunch of options where to place a dot. Then goes another one, but your options are a bit more limited since the second dot has to be coordinated with the first one. Positioning the third one is even more challenging. It goes on till you find a place for the final dot in this rather constrained composition. Now you have around 8 or 9 dots that you need to connect to each other with straight lines to get a constellation. And again, you gotta find the best dot to begin, and as you go step-by-step, the degree of freedom gradually decreases. Afterwards you realize that there was only one correct path which is effectively inevitable.
Said 2-dimensional structure had to be somehow converted into a sculpture form. This winter I had an idea unfolding around 8 or 9 locks mounted into a gallery wall and the keys connected with a thick wool thread. My gallerist told me he’ll be unable to sell such piece, and it needs to be changed into something portable.
When I approached Dasha with this idea she suggested using carved wooden panel as a canvas for this tricky constellation. Since she works with wood carving a lot, we’ve decided to collaborate on a piece that took around 6 months of production and now exists under the name of ОЛЯ.
Instead of a thick wool thread to connect the dots/keys we used a variety of guitar strings, so that the work would resemble a musical instrument. Keys, locks and strings added functionality to an otherwise decorative panel, creating a Jumanji box effect, an enchanted tool with unknown and dangerous purpose. To turn all the keys, you only need to turn one. It’s a bit like launching a nuclear missile.
— Ilya Smirnov, June 15, 2019