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Watching art through your fingers

The first in Russia mobile exhibition of tactile paintings "To see the invisible" came to Khabarovsk

Unique: an exposition has opened in the Far Eastern Art Museum, where workers are encouraged to touch the paintings with their hands. Not only blind and visually impaired guests, but also everyone can get acquainted with relief copies of world masterpieces for free - for this, museum workers have prepared special accessories. 

Watching art through your fingers
Photo: Elena Vertyankina

“The painting was damaged in a fire, and therefore the right part was cut off, the composition was slightly shifted. It is always better to feel this scale with both hands ... At the Virgin Mary an open face, a deserted one, I would say, a high forehead, narrow eyebrows, eyes almost devoid of eyelashes, so touch it. Here, on the left hand ... "

The first tour for special guests is conducted by the curator of the museum Fine Arts named after Pushkin. Centimeter by centimeter, it helps the blind and visually impaired to visualize each of the paintings - in their imagination. 6 unusual duplicates of famous paintings were brought to Khabarovsk: “The Annunciation” by Sandro Botticelli, “Madonna and Child” by Lucas Cranach the Elder, “Still Life with Attributes of the Arts” by Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, “The Attack of the Jaguar on the Horse” by Henri Rousseau, “Oh, Are You Jealous?” By Paul Gauguin and “The Old Jew with a boy "Pablo Picasso.

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Smooth, rough, porous, patterned - the texture of the paintings, according to guests with visual impairments, is different everywhere, and a little like ceramics or plasticine. Embossed enlarged copies are made using a special technology. Experts processed photographs, selected textures, clearly outlining the boundaries of characters and objects.

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"We had a casting of manufacturers. We, the museum staff, are used to living cheaper, saving on everything. They began to order different Russian firms that are engaged in 3 technologyD print, here is the "Old Man and the Boy" by Pablo Picasso. Well, these boys were quite horrible! His eyes are bulging, his nose is falling. It is difficult to translate painting, especially when it, like Picasso, is not biographically accurate. And these pictures were made by the Spanish firm. Our director was in Spain, there I saw these pictures and caught fire - let's do it! And here is the result, by which we are satisfied " - Olga Morozova, curator of the Museum of Fine Arts named after Pushkin, told East Russia.

For a unique exhibition in the Russian context, museum workers have selected works from different styles and eras. "To see the invisible," or art that touches is a joint project of Sberbank, which this Sunday celebrated its 176 anniversary, the Pushkin Museum and the VISA payment system.


"Emotions overwhelm, super! I started painting myself when I lost my sight. Today I approached the paintings and even felt the colors. I do not know how to explain - the color temperature plays a role or something. And that person who has not seen since childhood, he can feel the form, he will approach, feel. Here, for example, the vine: yes, you can buy grapes, give the blind one to touch. And the same angel? This is art, it's not a deli! I will say for an example. Our society won a grant, we did a theatrical performance, and in the process of work we even had to show a facial expression to a person, directly with our hands, do you understand? An ordinary child, he does not have such difficulties. And then right up to the fact that we showed the young man for the performance how to hug the girl at one time or another " - Marina Lysenko, chairman of the Khabarovsk branch of the All-Russian Society of the Blind, shared with East Russia.  
And this seventh Sunday, a tactile picture flew to Khabarovsk via Moscow from Spain. In every city where the exhibition goes, the organizers choose the canvas of the local museum and make it an adapted copy. In DVMM from the store were taken and moved to the hall "Daughter of a Fisherman" Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin. Now both "daughters" - a reproduction and a tactile version - are hanging next to each other. When the exhibition leaves, they will stay.

"For me it was the first experience" tells the guest of the exhibition Elena Sharipova. - "Something we managed to understand, especially the" Daughter of the Fisherman ", almost at 100%. Head, eyes, nose, mouth, hands, fingers, everything! On the other paintings is not so. Only pieces. It's all different, but we liked it. It is necessary to periodically "watch" such pictures and then the experience will come. It may be that there is more time and silence. I'm not an artist, and in general the picture for us is a topic inaccessible and far away! "

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Ordinary visitors are also offered to discover new facets. Headphones and dark glasses are issued on site. For about an hour the audio guide (in the voice of Yevgeny Mironov) tells about the paintings and their authors. The works that were done for each city personally were voiced by Russian stars. In Novosibirsk - the singer Pelageya, in Yekaterinburg - the leader of the "Chaif" group Vladimir Shakhrin, the musician from the "Therr Maitz" group Anton Belyaev became the voice for "The Fisherman's Daughter" in Khabarovsk.

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Actor Pyotr Nesterenko from the Khabarovsk Youth Theater also tried to "see" the picture without using his eyes:

"The audio guide tells a lot about life, about creativity, there is a profound biographical approach to the picture. I just slid my hand, trying to figure out if it's possible to see and understand. While it seems to me that it is impossible. If they told me what and in what order to touch, then in parallel with the sensations, it could have happened. And so - very detached information. Perhaps this is the first impression. "

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In total, in the All-Russian society of blind people there are 200 thousands of blind and visually impaired. Unofficial statistics says about a million such people in our country.
"This is a difficult project, but brilliant! And it is addressed, first of all, not to people with disabilities, but to the whole society. Because with each one can happen at a certain stage of the life's path. And we must understand, sympathize and find reserves. A person sitting at home, behind closed doors, in the dark, to change the situation and come to the museum - it's worth a lot. Art heals people in general. Just a man came, sat by the picture, pulled him, and imagine, he can be cured of diseases, so say artists and art. We are very grateful to Sberbank. In general, we have a small museum, we show 30 paintings of several thousand, we do not have enough space. But here we found the hall. Give us the money, and we will build a new museum, the best in the Russian Federation! "- Valentina Zaporozhskaya, director of DVMK, offered to the organizers.

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Residents of 8 Russian cities have already touched the relief paintings. In Kazan, an unusual exposition broke the historical record of the local museum for attendance. The Far Eastern Art Museum of Khabarovsk is expecting an influx of guests until December 10, after which the traveling exhibition "Seeing the Invisible" will go to Vladivostok. Free admission.  
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