Actually, it was a symbolic moment. They launched flying ships in the sky with the names of the newly opened studios. Each author launched a ship of their own studio. We wanted to capture the moment, but it turned out stupidly as the wind blew the boats away, and whirled them away in a couple of seconds. We also planned colored balloons but had to replace them at the very last moment because some of them popped on the way. Anyway, no one said that you only need to swim in complete calm.
The history of the mansion where the new Mama Ro was opened goes back much earlier. This is what it looked like at the end of the 19th century, when no one reading these lines now was even born (the latter is not for sure though).
AND ULJ ASGAR ALI
The year of construction is 1876! Simultaneously with the Mama Ro Mansion Jack London was born in the States, Pyotr Chaikovskiy finished “The Seasons” in Moscow, and Mark Twain finished “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” in Hartford. George Sand died in France, and Ulj Asgar Ali, a hero of the Russian-Turkish War 1877-1878, was a famous Barbary pirate and Alikhano’s great-grandfather in the future, joined the Ottoman Navy in Istanbul (will tell you more about
By the way, the neighboring Mama Ro mansion at Chistye Prudy is not far behind in its history. Looking ahead, it would be built in 20 years. However, despite the fact that both buildings are almost identical in their layout and purpose (they were tenement houses), in 1896 there were hints of the coming modernism in the external decoration of the building. Almost contemporary! It suggests that while the mansions in the lane were built in one direction, Mama Ro continues expanding in the opposite direction. Back to the past, the first two studios were opened in a building built in the 1930s.
By the way, in one of the first studios on Gusyatnikov lane there is mute evidence of this. There is a hidden window in Avia studio which we inherited from an earlier constructed building. You might wonder how we determined that our building had been added and not the other way around without having the dates of construction? It’s very simple! This strip of broken brick on the front of the house is exactly in line with the cornice of the neighboring mansion. Obviously, the window that was blocked also was a part of it.
The builders told us that one of them found and stole an old revolver (pictured) during the opening of the floor during the construction of Mama Ro. Before that we also found a pre-revolutionary postcard both in Russian and French. Even the address is the same, Gusyatnikov Lane, 4. Notebooks with charms from husband’s infidelity, newspapers under wallpapers, telling about launching a man into Space, rails with signs “Made in Texas”. These are the junctions of epochs on which the Mama Ro Studios are built.
But let’s go back to a small group gathered on the roof of Mama Ro. Who are these people? Conspiracy theories that reach Mama Ro Headquarters say that the project is just a financial laundress (why else build such complex studios and a web-site). Someone calls Mama Ro: “A group of schoolboys who can’t do anything”. Someone just says we’re all nuts. In reality, Mama Ro is represented by these young people. They don’t have time for gossiping so they thrive where others are looking for a catch. They know how to work with their hands and use their imagination to do their best job. Well, sometimes maybe in an amateurish way. But surely never
So, seven people gathered together and invested their talents into eight small interiors at Chistye Prudy, each of them according to their persistence. Of course, all of them had something in common with the project before and each of them had their own Mama Ro experience as support. But no more than that. Everything that a guest sees in the studios is a creative projection of the authors who created them. After completing the work on the studios each of them wrote their own “legend”,
an author’s story about the interior.
STUDIO 24 Theatre
The coat that hangs on the hanger, and the
theatre that tells the difference between
“to be or not to be.”
STUDIO 23 Veronese
that tells about an inexhaustible source
of inspiration, a kaleidoscope of time,
adventures and resourcefulness.
STUDIO 22 Balance
STUDIO 21 British
studio that tells why you should sit here
by the fireplace, drink English tea and dive
into the universe of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
STUDIO 20 Extreme
the way river rafting changes your lifestyle, how
the hatchback Honda Civic became the studio’s
mascot, and what street art has to do with it.
STUDIO 19 Rousseau
STUDIO 18 Magma
the people who have lost their civility
in the modern world, who became a tribe,
which appeal to the senses.
AND 7 AUTHORS?
Yes. One of the eight authors fell off and there were seven left. The eighth failed to cope with the working intensity and left the project. Dima Prokhorenko, the author of Magma studio, decided to finish this studio. He took Alikhano’s diary as the basis, a famous smuggler and poet who traces his ancestry to the Berber pirate Ulj Asgar Ali, mentioned above. He called the studio Pirate. Now there is a copy of Alikhano’s diary in the room in which everyone who wants can continue making notes. There is also a rum-torrent operating that is an exchange of strong pirate drinks between our guests. You can read the legend of this studio here >
BUT WHO IS TIGER?
Dima Chugunov, school friend of one of the co-founders Tolya Smirnov, was called Tiger during the construction. When the foreman decided to ditch the project without completing it, Dima supported Tolya and persistently helped Mama Ro cope with all the difficulties for several months. Sometimes he was literally spending days and nights at the construction and completing work for one another’s studio at a rapid pace. Everyone in Mama Ro was touched by this.
The second discovery for Mama Ro was the acquaintance with Oleg Sotnikov. Dima Prokhorenko also called him Caesar. Having come to the project as dismantling foreman, Оleg stayed at Mama Ro until the end of the year’s construction and then continued working at Mama Ro. Dima was joking, “With such a profile you can only lead legions into battle”. This Caesar didn’t need this
to win everyone.
DRESS THE ORE
This text has a simple message in it: the uranium ore of history, enriched by the work of people who love what they do, always gives an amazing result: a creative energy is the foundation of Mama Ro. One year ago today, eight new studios were opened in a cozy historical building from 1876. The people behind this were students and represented the generation barely aged 30 (Natasha Lvova, the youngest one of them is 22!). Dima Chugunov and Oleg Sotnikov are partners and friends you can rely on. Come to Chistye Prudy to have a look at what these guys had created.