Photo by Vladimir Peysikov
Imagine you’re dreaming, and in your dream you pick a flower in heaven, and then you wake up with the flower in your hand. Ah, what then? (Max Richter. From Natalie Johns’ Max Richter’s Sleep, 2019)
Where do we go every night when we close our eyes and drift to sleep? To the realm of misty dreams? Walk the winding roads of our unconscious? Do we see the future or the past? Or the present existing in parallel to here and now? What if dreams are a different reality that coexists with the one we know? And how can a third part of life, although passive, be deemed insignificant?
Sleeping is as important part of life as wakefulness. It affects our perception of reality and the phantom line between objective truth and the surreal world of visions and fantasies. Dreams and their nature still raise numerous questions and researching them is filled with various hypotheses that are yet to be scientifically confirmed or disproved. Dreaming and its many aspects is turned into a subject of artistic reflection in the exhibition narrative.
A Wave of Dreams unites works by 32 artists. Referring to the ancient tradition of dream interpretation, some participants find in them warnings and prophecies. Others explore the borderline state between dream and reality as a paranoid feeling of losing touch with reality. In some cases, the memories of the past switch places with dreams, as if emerging from each other; in others the visions of the future bleed through like recurring stress dreams. Sometimes metaphysical images come up like accidental visions. The artists turn to memory archives, feelings of déjà vu and dream journals. Through the works we invite the viewers to enter an extraordinary world of fantastical images, nightmares and drifting dreams. A Wave of Dreams will become the border zone between wakefulness and dreaming in which objective reality is no longer dominant, giving way to illusion.
Lao rosewood, billiard ball, carving. 2020
2012-2013, Steel, wood, 24.5x53x25.5cm
Work of Labor is an object that can be interpreted as a tuning fork. It helps the viewer to calibrate attention to a certain emotional wawe of perception, unburdened by the taxing philosophical references of footnotes. The artist took several months to methodically saw in half a crowbar, then polish it to a mirror shine, and finally rejoin the two pieces. Resulting from unsophisticated but laborious effort is an object that has lost its primary function as a working implement, and has become a “work of labor” and also a work of art.
The events of the first months of 2020 showed us that the world is changing right in front of our eyes and these changes are happening so rapidly that it is sometimes impossible to predict them. The “ State of Emergency” exhibition is an attempt of observing the current situation, reacting to it and forecasting scenarios of a possible future. The exposition combines five sections, each of which offers analysis and observation of new and familiar sociocultural processes that have transformed under the onset of the pandemic.
The declared epidemiological threat led to an undeclared state of emergency – sanitary restrictions were imposed on almost all inhabited territories, which changed the usual order of things. The “Anti / Structure” section provides an artistic reflection and illustration of the effects that events like pandemics have on everyday life and society.
The works in the sections “Landmarks in Space” and “Present Time” offer observations of physical parameters of human existence.
The section “Landmarks in space” is considered from the side of mental pressure on the material model. The “Present Time” section addresses the genre of an art diary as a way to capture and fixate the moment.
Discovering themselves in unnatural conditions of utter isolation, artists once again seek a way out to the creative impulse, plunging deeper into the world of fantasies, transitional states and visions. The section “Border Syndrome” is devoted to this condition. Here are the works that exist on the border of various states, worlds even – virtual and material, fantasy and hallucination, sleep and reality, spiritual and physical.
Eras of grand changes are always a catalyst for the emergence of new predictions and myths, and the current situation was no exception. The section “Truths and Fiction” is devoted to the desire to look into the unknown, to find out how it all began, and to imagine how it will end. Using various mediums and with varying degrees of fantasticness, artists offer their own scenarios for a future that has still yet to come.
The “Your screen time has expired” section presents works that appeal to digital culture and its emotional and social aspects. During self-isolation, public and private communication was completely transferred to an online medium, turning apartments and houses into centers of consumption, content creation and observation of the current agenda. Now that the media services have proven themselves as additional means of mandatory control, it may be worth revising one’s digital relationships.
From the Random Photo 01082018 series
At the Fringes is an exhibition organized by the Department of Research Arts, a center for artistic research projects focused on the Russian territory. This new project shows the life at the fringes and in the border territories of Russia, where fringes are not exclusively state borders but also natural boundaries, land areas, divides and limits of space.
Areas that have been historically considered “remote”, “disconnected,” “isolated,” become especially interesting in today’s society as the means of communication have been organically integrated into the human ecosystem and transformed our perception of space. The fringes are closer than ever now but still remain somewhat distant. These can be spaces well within the country’s landmass as well as border territories.
Cohesiveness of space, in Russia and globally, is not uniform which produces modern forms of geographic inequality. The non-uniformity can be observed as some parts of the country are better known while others remain “uncharted territories”; the project takes this disparity as its starting point.
The exhibition opens with documentary projects where each presents an interpretation of archival or documentary records (photographs, official documents, sketches, field notes, video) covering a fringe region.
A stand-alone part of the project is its “permanent exposition.” It comprises painting and photography that recreate the image of a fringe with varying degrees of visual approximation. Complementing it, there is a library section that offers insights into the history of the Russian space and its landmark social, philosophical and artistic concepts.
In the third part of the exposition, the acoustic experience is just as important as the visual. The audience is immersed into the fringe space through installations and objects.
The project is supported by the Presidential Grants Foundation.
ZAPOVEDNIK research group
em parceria com PhotoVisa, International Festival of Photography, Russia
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