Anna and Vitaly Cherepanov are young, but already well-known Russian contemporary artists, based in Ekaterinburg. They work jointly and separately under various pseudonyms. Their practice includes a variety of media, among them performance, video art, installation, street art and painting.
The monumental composition Seversky Stream is the result of their art residency in Polevskoy. It is located at the sidewall of the engineering building which stands on the territory of the plant, but is visible in the city. The artists share their main impression of visiting the Seversky Pipe Plant — the beauty of the hot metal leaves no one indifferent. The fiery chimneys at the end of the residential panel building contrast with its familiar dullness, making it an eye-catching visual accent. A calm, confident figure of a worker from the Seversky Plant stands on one of the funnels, symbolically taming the fiery element of hot metal.
The composition includes a speech bubble with the text “Attention! People at work!” The artists noticed this inscription on warning plates while touring the plant. The Cherepanovs decided to place this inscription on the wall of the factory, thereby turning the warning of danger into an ironic and sentimental slogan about labor. The remark uttered by someone invisible from the space behind the luminous window reminds passers-by of the hundreds of invisible workers who go to work every day. With this work, the Cherepanovs continue their reflection on invisible labor, which they began with their sculpture "RABOTA" (as part of the ZhKP group), presented at the 4th Ural Industrial Biennial of Contemporary Art.
Many of the works that the Cherepanovs create are collages and assemblages. In the work Seversky Stream, they again, combine wall painting and the tradition of Soviet monumental art in a modernist way with the visual language of contemporary urban advertising. The worker no longer appears as a hero, but as a character in a computer game or video, flying among artificial bindweed on glowing red-hot pipes.