What initially inspired the Private Moon series?
Ten years ago I created this installation with the glowing moon at one of the festivals of contemporary art.
I wanted to make a picture of the reality of my favorite artist – Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. After that
I brought the moon to the roof of my studio on a skyscraper on the South of Moscow, where she shone
to me personally, and brightened my loneliness.
What does this series mean to you?
This is not just a series – it is a performance of a lifetime! I have traveled Private Moon for ten years and
each time the moon reveals more space to me. The moon is a shining point that brings people together
from different countries, of different nationalities and cultures. And everyone who gets in its orbit does
not forget it ever. It gives fairytale and poetry in our prosy and mercantile world.
You have described this work as a visual poem, and often accompany your images with poetry too. Which comes first for you, the words or the images?
Poetry is born in the image. Before placing a Private moon in a place that I like, I look at it for a very long
time. Often this is the place that I see as the basis of the poem. In the first pictures you see my country
house, the bed on which I sleep and write poetry, I myself as a lonely poet and philosopher – in the hat
and cloak of my departed father. The world is beautiful around us, you just illuminate it with the light of
poetry! And for me, the light of the moon is the perfect poetry.
How has collaboration enriched your art practice?
I am grateful to everyone who walked by my side as I’m carrying the moon around the world. You see,
I’m an artist and a poet, I have no other life but to dance of the dance of the moon mad dervish. And if
someone comes up beside me and will dance with me, and if the stars respond to this dance – then a
miracle happens – an art is born. And I hope that everyone who danced with me got a bit of inspiration
for his work and for his life.
To see this amazing, ongoing project, and follow Leonid Tishkov and his Moon on a journey across the whole world, visit his blog!
PS. Tonight's (June 23rd) full moon will also be a Super Moon! So that means the moon will be closer to Earth than it has been during all of 2013. If the sky is clear where you live, go out and watch it!