Chtak’s rebus, built up on three cupboards, is composed of poetic and rhetoric discourses. In the front part — a phrase in Spanish “Todo lo que necesitamos” (“Everything that we need”). As if the phrase promises that we are to find this “it” in the cupboards. However, “everything” is outside — these are the fragile lines of questions and answers in all the possible languages.


The first cupboard with philosophical terms in Ethiopian: ontology (the philosophical study of the nature of being) and epistemology (the branch of philosophy concerned with the theory of knowledge). Then glasses and a phrase in Russian: “Два больших” (“The two big ones”). Questions? Answers? “Everything we need” — to search for the meaning?

The second cupboard might be a reference to a joke played out in a dialogue:

“Prove that there is no chair.”

“Which chair?”

Below a logical scheme: if N1 is unknown, then N2 is also unknown, and vice versa. If “everything that we need” is unknown, then it is unknown that it does not exist. In other words, it “was, will, would, could” [be] or will “appear”?

The third cupboard is separated into two segments with phrases in French. The upper part is melancholic, à la Baudelaire. Next to the moon and the tree — the question “Where?”, in the hole resembling a funeral one — the answer “Here”. In the bottom — the religious symbol of an octagram and the continuation of the phrase “Mais pas ici” (“But not here”). We are all united by the death and not by the religion. “Everything that we need” — life?


Elements, incoherent at first sight, are in fact parts of one system. Matching with each other in different ways, they open new layers of meanings. To understand word for word is not the most important. The key is to catch the feelings and the half steps of this intellectual game. Valeriy Chtak: “Phrases and separate words are connected to each other with an abstract, barely concretized meaning. So even a polyglot who knows a huge mass of languages will have to try to catch this elusive meaning above the logic and somewhere to the side of the rational.”V

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