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
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
While working on The Sequences of Conditions, I was inspired by two works of fundamental research: a book by Martin Gardner entitled Penrose Tiles to Trapdoor Ciphers and Barnett Newman’s manifesto The Plasmic Image.
I have always been fascinated by the problems involved in creating a universal artistic element that could be developed endlessly, interacting with different spaces. By way of example, fractal is such an element in mathematics. In my project the fractal medium is a square that has no proportions. Two images constructed from such elements bear an extremely approximate resemblance to the familiar world that we know (“forest”space and “atmosphere” space).
Atmosphere is a combination of chemical elements. By analogy, the atmosphere of the picture is created thanks to the interaction of minerals bonded by resins, oils and varnishes. In my project I set myself the figurative objective of combining two spaces in one work so smoothly that spectators would not be able to perceive the transition. As is the case, for example, in ambient music popularly termed atmospheric.
The sequence of the condition of the work arises thanks to the colour dynamics in its fragments. This approach is closer to a Chinese scroll than a North European still life, which compels us to come closer and closer to the work. And this is how it is disclosed, demonstrating yet another quality — the microcosm of the details. Works on scrolls exceeding 10 metres in length motivate us to look for the great in large-scale works,
which cannot be appropriately viewed in a single glance. In my installation each separate fragment represents a frame of the conditions. The Sequences of Conditions may be developed in different physical directions, unleashing the hidden potential of degrees of freedom of the work, while simultaneously immersed in its own lack of freedom. This growth process in the infinite work can be stopped once I receive answers to most of the questions that I have raised regarding painting, methodology and motivation.
RENUNCIATION OF FIGURATIVE ART
The impact of the work is not attributable to the form, but instead to the elusive magnetism surrounding the space of the work. Such magnetism in Newman’s works was expressed in a series of plasmic paintings. I was enthralled by this idea. I worked on the composition of space, using the technique of consecutive simplification, abstracting as much as possible away from figurative art.
The audio video installation consists of 12 LCD screens, where one character singsthe vowel sounds, of which there are naturally six in Russian. Each scene and sound isplayed on a separate screen. The screens are specifically not synchronised with each other at the launch of the video, while the sound is intentionally expanded with a reverberator,
thereby acquiring a volumetric and slightly otherworldly sound. In the 1950s Igor Stravinsky started using serial compositional techniques, which involves a specific concept for writing music, namely: a technique of musical composition whereby a series (row) of non-recurrent sounds serve as the pitch. It was introduced into musical practice in the works of Arnold Schoenberg and Аnton Webern. Threni: id est Lamentationes Jeremiae Prophetae from 1958 was the first completely serial composition, where Stravinsky rejected tonality as such. Working on the “chorus”, I adhered to the serial technique and intentionally selected the vowel sounds of the composer’s native language, which can be sung and combined
in a polyphonic structure.
Sufi whirling (or Sufi spinning) is a form of Sama or physically active meditation which originated among Sufis, and which is still practiced by the Sufi Dervishes of the Mevlevi order. It is a customary dance performed within the Sema, or worship ceremony, through which dervishes (also called semazens) aim to reach the source of all perfection, or kemal. This is sought through abandoning one’s nafs, egos or personal desires, by listening to the music, focusing on God, and spinning one’s body in repetitive circles, which has been seen as a symbolic imitation of planets in the Solar System orbiting the sun. As explained by Sufis:
Kristina Romanova set (c) … … … …