Poems to the Touch

An exhibition for blind, visually impaired, and all other children

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This installation is based on poems by the contemporary children’s poets Galina Dyadina, Andrei Usachev, Grigory Kruzhkov and Artur Givargizov. Exhibition visitors find themselves in a meadow densely populated by living creatures on a hot summer day. The central image of the interactive exhibition space is stands of thick grass (whose height is greater than that of an average adult) in which an ant is lost. The only way to navigate and explore objects in this environment is by touch. All the objects in the space are interactive: visitors can tell their fortune with the petals of a gigantic daisy, take insects from the grass and play with them, “pick” a mushroom and extract a worm from it or wrap themselves in a large, soft leaf. The entire exhibit is filled with sounds: some of them (the buzzing of insects, the trilling of crickets, the chirping of birds) are constantly audible, while other sounds are produced via active intervention on the part of the children themselves. Some of the flowers emit a fragrance. When children caress a cow’s muzzle, it “breathes” warmth into their palms, and it moos when a hidden button is pressed.

The installation has been exhibited at three schools for blind and visually impaired children in Saint Petersburg, as well as at the Anna Akhmatova Museum.

© Artist: Alexander Reichstein, 2011
Objects: Elizaveta Gesenzvey, Evgenia Fiakinskaya
Construction: Andrej Sverdlov
Curator: Maria Korosteleva
Consultant: Ekaterina Klochkova