Russian Video Art tonight

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The program “The Stars of Video Art” tonight at 7pm sounds like it is going to be fascinating stuff.  Here’s a peek a the full program.  I’m particularly excited about #3.

Stars of Russian Video Art

1.    PROVMYZA (Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia)
“Wet chicken” (3min 40sec)
“Fugue” (19min 10sec)
“Slippery mountain” (6min 25sec)
These artists work in various spheres of contemporary art employing a wide range of multi-media means. In their creative work tend to obliterate the borders between the kinds and genres of art; their approach is mostly based on the tradition of the Russian objectless art at the beginning of the 20th century as understood now in light of the modern times. Their experimental films participated in numerous international festivals around the world. In 2005, Myznikova and Provorov represented Russia with innovative project “Idiot Wind” at 51st Venice Biennial.

2.    Victor Alimpiev (Moscow, Russia)
“Sweet nightingale” (6min 50sec)
Victor Alimpiev assumes the isolated viewpoint of an observer in order to capture both spontaneous and controlled nuances of human expression and behavior. In the video Sweet Nightingale (2005), a vast examination of uniformity and difference, a crowd performs a sequence of gestures choreographed to the music of Gustav Mahler.

3.    Lyudmila Gorlova (Moscow, Russia)
“Happy end” (6min 30 sec)
Lyudmila Gorlova films wedding parties on Vorobiovy Mountain, which is where the newly wed of Moscow traditionally visit. While the “actors” change, the banal scenario of actions remains the same – they drink champagne from the bottle, take souvenir photographs, dance to accordion music and kiss to their friend’s cries of “bitter!”. Each of the newlyweds treat their role in a slightly different and personal manner while the overall sincerity and spontaneity remain unchanged. They all believe (or want to believe) that they are participating in this performance for the last time.

4.    Olga Chernyshova (Moscow, Russia)
“The train” (7min 15sec)
Chernysheva’s best know work The Train (2003) is a remarkable video journey through the carriages of a Russian intercity train that recalls the Constructivist cinema of Dziga Vertov. The video is both an affecting window on contemporary Russian life and a shrewd re-working of the structures of conventional cinema: the movement through the train and the interactions with different individuals mimic feature film’s dramatic narratives.

5.    The Blue Soup Group (Moscow, Russia)
“Panorama”, “Vestibule”, “Gas” (4min 20sec)
The Blue Soup Group was founded by Alexei Dobrov, Daneel Lebedev and Valery Patkonen in 1996. The creative work of The Blue Soup group is a rare example of minimalism and perfectionism in Russian video art. The piece references the early days of cinema when dioramas and panoramas were in common use. The camera’s 360 panning shot can be read as a metaphor of man’s life, seen as a whole.

6.    The Blue Noses (Moscow-Novosibirsk, Russia)
“Sex-art” (3min 10sec)
“If I were Harry Potter” (4min)
The term “Nailed-up Video” was coined by Viacheslav Mizin and Alexandr Shaburov in 2003. The lack of money and interested audiences, combined with limited access to technology and an under-developed art infrastructure, made the artists irreverent and eager to create. The works they produce are formally inventive yet extremely cynical in terms of content.

7.    Leonid Tishkov (Moscow, Russia)
“Nikodim” The story of a man’s journey (6min)
Leonid Tishkov graduated from medical school in Moscow in 1978, but soon changed his career from studying as a  surgeon to become an artist. He became famous for the creation of a dabloid, “an absolutely anthropomorphic creature, made up of an autonomous leg with a small head at its top”. Tishkov’s continually evolving narrative and space is mapped in drawings, prints, illustrated books, paintings, sculptures, plays and video installations. Today his work is widely shown throughout Europe and the United States, as well as in Russia. The film offers a figure of a man, an artist himself.

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