Russian Pioneer

The columnist for “Russian Pioneer” Nikolai Foght met in Moscow an unusual football fan – the Norwegian artist Marta Bjoerndal, whose art is not just associated with football – it is created with the help of football. As it turned out, you can not only score goals with a soccer ball, but also paint pictures. Finally, I met a woman who is going to change, if not save the world. This is Marta Bjoerndal.Martha is an artist from Norway. And not just an artist – she is a fan. And not just a fan – her art is all about football. We had no choice: we decided to watch football together in order to exchange artistic ideas, at least.
Martha has a lot of ideas. And this is her third World Cup. Before Moscow there was the World Cup in South Africa, and then the Brazilian championship, and – the Olympic Games in Rio, after all, there is also a good football tournament. The meaning of the project: Marta comes to the poorest regions of the country, which hosts a football holiday, spreads or stretches a canvas prepared and, I hope, primed ahead of time, and the poorest segments of the population, children and adults, play football on canvas with a ball dipped in different colors. Or they hit with such a ball on the canvas, as in the goal.Marta then completes something, gives the composition the final condition of a masterpiece. It even sounds cool. And the pictures are, in my opinion, very beautiful, textured.Martha is thus the very advanced and football-like Pollock of our day.What could I offer Marta? I suggested to Martha the cafe “Pieces”, we decided to watch football there, on Shabolovka. “Pieces” – because the room consists of different zones: a hospital ward, a prison cell, a communal apartment. The design is like that. It seemed to me that it was cool – on the one hand. On the other hand, it is a metaphor in some respects of the Soviet Union, and in some respects of modern Russia.Waiters worked in the hall – a man in a doctor’s dressing gown with a stethoscope and a housewife in a dressing gown and curlers. I’m telling you, cool.
Marta looked around the premises with joy and rightly asked the question: why is everything so? I, of course, forwarded this question to the doctor. The answer was so simple that I was able to retell it to Marta without losing its meaning: because the owner of the establishment had a dream to create such an establishment from the age of fifteen, and after thirty he succeeded. Why exactly this? Because a dream.In short, we chose the Mexico-Sweden game. And then Martha finally struck me down. She took a laptop out of her bag – and in order to look parallel to the Germans and Koreans.
Marta, it turned out, loves football, which is shown by the Germans. And also football, which Brazilians demonstrate. That is, Martha Bjoerndal has a wide range of football preferences. While the Swedes were unraveling the impending defeat of the Mexicans, Marta began to question me. The beginning was politically correct: what do I think about Germany’s 7-1 victory over Brazil. I answered honestly: the Brazilians are right. Beach soccer and the vanity fair that they launched at the home championship were slammed by the Germans with business pragmatic soccer. And I like the way the Brazilians play, Marta said thoughtfully. Although I also like the Germans, the artist thoughtfully completed the German-Brazilian theme.Marta thinks Moscow is beautiful and Russia is great. All women are top models, and men are fun. In general, Russia turned out to be not at all what it thought. And now she thinks that there are almost no differences between the West and Russia. Neither bad nor good.
But when the Swedes began to score, all talk about politics stopped. Marta was happy for her neighbor, for her “big brother” and remembered, by the way, that Norway and Russia are also neighbors.And then, after three nil in favor of Sweden, the most interesting thing began in Pieces. We switched to South Korea with Germany. We saw the climax of the drama. We gasped and gasped, we acted like real fans.Of course, it was obvious: Old Man Hottabych bewitched the German players – they missed from one hundred percent scoring positions, Neuer finally made a completely ridiculous goal. Marta almost with tears in her eyes watched this victory of the Koreans.“Drama,” was all Marta could say.The bitterness of the German fiasco was softened, perhaps, by the okroshka that Marta ate for the first time in her life. “What is kvas?” “Russian Pepsi-Cola,” I replied in Khrushchev. “ABOUT!”.In the evening I again remembered Martha. The Brazilians won over the Serbs without question. And again, as in the previous match, they played “not Brazilian” but humanly: disciplined, powerfully, totally. And as if in absentia they took revenge from the Germans. Martha, in short, has someone to root for in the playoffs.