Virtual exhibition (originally an app for iPhone and Android), produced as a collateral event of MANIFESTA 10, St. Petersburg, 2014

– Curator(s) – Oxana Maleeva and Steve Piccolo

Artist(s) in alphabetical order

Gabriele Di Matteo (with the movement & IL TOPO) (see project here)

Nathalie Du Pasquier (see project here)

Barnaba Fornasetti & Valeria Manzi (see project here)

Mark V. Kalinka (see project here)

Jay C Lohmann (see project here)

Oxana Maleeva (see project here)

Elena Nemkova (see project here)

Adrian Paci (see project here)

Steve Piccolo (see project here)

Christoph Radl (see project here)

George Sowden (see project here)

Bert Theis (see project here)

– Organized by – Art Apart (Zurich) and The Palaces of the Russian Museum Fund (St. Petersburg)

– venue – the city of St. Petersburg via application for iPod/iPhone


“Balconism” is a curious neologism. When you hear it, you think it must be the name of some political or artistic movement from the past. It sounds familiar but you cannot put your finger on its meaning. The artists in the show will give their own interpretations to this new “ism”.

International personalities, artists, designers, writers contribute narrative audiovisual works, each for one selected balcony in the city of St. Petersburg, to create a possible new virtual itinerary.

The BLKNZM app, invented by Oxana Maleeva and Steve Piccolo, takes an ironic, vaguely Situationist approach, without limits of time and space, lingering on the threshold (the balcony) between public and private, earth and sky, reality and imagination.

The free BLKNZM app is not “about” art… it is an artwork. The show exists only on a virtual level as an app for iPhone/iPad (and, in the near future, Android devices). Visitors to St. Petersburg during Manifesta can use the BLKNZM map to find the balconies, observing possible transformations imagined by the artist-authors and listening to the stories. People around the world can also take a virtual tour.

The artists come to terms with the unique atmosphere of the city, without altering it in any physical way, adding no objects or interventions but simply enhancing – through imagination – a context already packed with history, monuments and works. BLKNZM refrains from disturbing the city, and tries to put its beauty and character into focus by providing an unusual filter for its experience.

BLKNZM also sets aside the idea that art has to be made by artists. The lack of material artifacts in the app opens the way for the participation of writers, critics, musicians, designers and architects, treating the city as a true encyclopedia of possible narratives, from the perspective of different disciplines.

The first edition of BLKNZM was made for Venice, during the 55th Biennale.

The original BLKNZM app, for Venice, included works by: Tadao Ando, Francesco Bonami, Jota Castro, Francesco Dal Co, Gabriele Di Matteo, Barnaba Fornasetti & Valeria Manzi, Carlos Garaicoa, Mark V. Kalinka, Oxana Maleeva, Steve Piccolo, Christoph Radl 

BLKNZM is a project of Art Apart, Zurich, in collaboration with The Palaces of the Russian Museum Fund, St. Petersburg.


With the support of: Vnesheconombank – Bank for Development and Foreign Economic Affairs

As part of the Parallel Program of Manifesta 10

Concept: Steve Piccolo and Oxana Maleeva

App developer: Elisa Bernardoni

Graphic design: RADL

Sound design: Gak Sato and Steve Piccolo

Original photos of St. Petersburg:  Nickolay Ryutin

Special thanks to:

Anna Tsvetkova, director of The Palaces of the Russian Museum Fund, St. Petersburg, and Marina Dmitrieva