Charlie’s Proun


b&w film, 1 min, stage with the installation, wooden walking stick, iron sewage grid with a
plastic Proun
As evident from the title of the work, this environmental projection is an unusual merger of
two autonomous worlds: the world of the Russian revolutionary avant-garde and that of
Hollywood cinema. It is a seemingly absurd clash because these two worlds came into being
based on contradictory socio-political, economic and cultural conditions. However, as this
work surprisingly shows, there are aspects they have in common. The most important of them
is the time, namely the beginning of the 20 th century, as well as the ethos of the dynamic
ideological and technological development.
The installation consists of two parts. The first is a fragment of a silent movie with Charlie
Chaplin, in which he performs a gag, trying to push a piece of wood through a grid into a
sewer hole. This absurd activity, on which the actor is fanatically fixated, attracts the attention
of the crowd and makes them laugh.
The second part is a “theater stage” situated opposite the film projection, containing an
authentic sewage grid with a red Proun jammed in it. The author of the idea of Proun was the
Russian avant-garde artist El Lissitzky. He defined it as an abstract dynamic unit which can
be used by anyone in any way. According to him, Prouns can give rise to a new
multidimensional space. El Lissitzky conceived of them as dynamic units, which is exactly
what the stick, brilliantly dynamized by Chaplin, has become. And now it is up to the viewer
to try to emulate Charlie.


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