Throughout the summer of 2021, moderators and performative mediators working on the project Silence interacted with Garage visitors—they discussed meditation and spiritual practices, contemporary art, and other topics and recorded impressions and observations in the form of diaries.
Participatory projects are often difficult to scrutinize and apprehend since it is problematic to translate the emotions and feelings of people engaged in such activities from qualitative to quantitative assessment. Mediators’ diaries are a way of getting closer to understanding the project, which implied and instigated permanent communication, exchange of knowledge, experience, and impressions.
The spatial installation Silence by renowned Polish artist Paweł Althamer is a garden for meditation built in the Square in front of Garage, allowing both art mediators and regular visitors to experience the project in a variety of guises: in the scorching Moscow heat—and the sudden July rain, from which one had to escape either in the summer cinema or in the Mezzanine inside the main building, meaning each visitor eventually received a unique experience. Some of these stories are reflected in the diaries.
Since writing a diary was optional, the shared records belong to some of the participants, including performers, who ran meditation sessions several times a week, and moderators who were always present on the site.