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Interview for exhibition "Blizzard"
Arsenal museum, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

In Snowdrop much like in Despair the scene of action is an endless snowy field. Is it a metaphor? Or a formal element source of natural horizontal and whiteness?

Speaking about philosophy of place, critical attitude to reality, to phenomenon
of the real prompted us to form our individual space. We
make an effort
to choose or scrupulously assemble this space; that is why characters illusive
place of residence is oftentimes nature, illogical and de-humanized space.
We consider the nature to be an integral part of psychological landscape
as well as inner feelings, thus the choice of landscape is always determined
by mental condition which we endue our works with.

Boundless snow-covered spaces aid in creating metaphor of solitude, spiritual emptiness and powerlessness. In places like that a man is particularly
insignificant, he is tiny against the background of the nature and he is lonely.
The image in Snowdrop is initially existential, we deliberately accentuated
visual relationships between tiny (humanistic) and huge (natural). Movements
of heroes in horizontal and vertical landscape planes are projected onto such philosophical notions as ascension fall and tranquility, and this
directly reflects the heros inner state and at the same time corresponds
with the narrative constituent.

Linearity of the landscape was decided to be emphasized by a leash linking
the man and the dog. The camera was so distanced from the heroes that the line
of the leash disappeared from sight at some moments and then appeared again,
thus defining instability of the relationships and anticipating
imminent separation.

Spaces we see in Despair and Snowdrop are devoid of symbols and
codes which would allow to determine where the action takes places.
Are we looking at Russian landscape?

We believe that spirit of the beautiful is preserved in nature, however it is not obvious but hidden, mysterious, unseen. This arouses genuine excitement and awe. Nature is the space which is constantly tempting, within it essential unreasonable artistic tension is created. For us it is always an image of shadow where
uncertainty of meaning and shapes is concealed.

We reckon that Russian nature is the most existential for a man. Quite frequently
for a man intimate closeness with it acquires a complicated and contradictory form, approximating to hopelessness and solitude.

What is the difference between characters of Despair and Snowdrop?
What is dominant in images of these heroes natural or social origins?

Characters in Despair are so abstract that they are devoid of any social characteristics. Enter or exit nature, involvement or separation, inside or outside, a part or a whole, together or separately these can be
literally and figuratively designated as basic visual solutions for Despair.
In Snowdrop positions of human and natural are defined more distinctly.
In Despair the contrary is the case: artistic actions are aimed at determining whether a man is a part of nature or he is something else. We would call it
dialogue carpalistics between a man and nature. Nature presents the most
optimal research tool on a mans path to self-knowledge.

It should also be noted that in Despair consciousness of human society remains undivided into male-female. It is bisexual as nature itself and represents
a single whole. We are forever pursued by fear of close look when seemingly
whole worldview differentiates and falls apart into inharmonious texture

What are temporal coordinates of the events taking place in Despair
and Snowdrop? How relevant it would be to search for their connection with
a historic moment?

Historical time is initially absent from such works. It is self-destructed
or stopped entirely. The action is developing on its own, making room
for natural or random process.

Only duration remains, which is often dependent on distance or actions
of characters. Performances are usually lacking a plot and non-spectacular
by their nature, dull and uninteresting. In many instances frame duration is determined by appearance and disappearance of characters. In cases with people,
time was bound to in-frame movement, and to between-frame one if a character
was a bush or a tree. Such were specifics of work when narration was playing insignificant role. Beginning at the stage of conceptualization, narration
was later on consistently and deliberately destroyed by us.

What the works included into the exhibition represent: reaction to contemporary outside world or withdrawal from this reality towards inner searches and universal categories if being?

More of the latter. Art in our eyes is profound work with the conscious. With the conscious which is still wandering in the dark, noncivilized, void of attributes (markers) of civilization. Hence rejection of open social, historical and topical aspects. We concealed reflection on the present deep beneath a formal poetic cover.
It is possible to find and associate, switch on so-called associating mechanism
of primordial thinking allowing to reveal principal relations between abstract
and concrete, timeless and actual, natural and technological.


In both of the works a technical object appears amidst snowy landscapes: in Despair it is a water tower and in Snowdrop it is a helicopter. Why is contrasting natural and technological interesting for You?

Primal ability of the mind to animate all nature objects and processes is
originally included into the principle of art. Technical objects in the works,
as a kind of clumsy symbols of over-humanistic thinking, creating negative space with strong impact, are given aggressive, destructive energy, subjective thinking
of mystical nature. In Despair the water tower is expropriated by nature.
Aggression is locked inside and thus its active force is disarmed by frozen water, manifestation of illogical natural element. In Inspiration an excavators destructive force is released by a steel bucket, documentation of the process is presented in the work. In Snowdrop the helicopter which is discordant
with nature diabolically breaks the bond between the man and the dog. Besides,
the helicopter was assigned a rather concrete performative task to disrupt
peaceful architectonics of the natural state. Formally, it shapes individualized
space of snowstorm as a special place with its own (sentimental) story, and
at the same time it creates spatiotemporal border between natural tranquility
and artificial chaos (blizzard).

Polyphonic interweaving of natural and technological images reminds of removal principle, matching the incompatible, incommensurability of logical and chaotic thinking.

In Despair transition from winter into spring happens only at the level of sensation, however, in Snowdrop it is visible thawed patches appear
in the works finale. Why have You chosen this transitional state to work with,
what meaning does it have for you?

Solution lies within the narrative aspect of the work: the opening scene
of meeting and parting of two people which then follow each their own path and finish it differently. This illustrates certain differences, disagreement and coldness of relationships which in the final scene change to directly opposite, warm.

The snow is holed and gives way to another natural state,
warmer and brighter one.

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Review for PROVMYZA's video works

"The Range of interests of Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov/ProvMyza Group in different genres and techniques of contemporary art is considerably broad covering everything from sound poetry to Internet projects. But best known to the audience and professionals are their works in the area of video art where, despite their constant and intensive creative search and experimental innovations in the sphere of video language, they nonetheless succeed in maintaining their own individual style from work to work. The distinctive stylistic characteristics of ProvMyza Groups video works are conciseness of the shots, minimal or completely static action combined with intensive and sometimes aggressive dynamics of the image transition which is exceptionally pedantic, scrupulously checked, polished and masterly in its rhythmic structure. Such characteristics are especially pronounced in the following works: 20.21, Miss Rogozina like a Metronome, The Ball, the Racket and the Bicycle in an Aggressive Attack. The artistically restructured neurasthenic existence of objects in the physical reality, which have forced to the periphery or off screen the characters, who operate them, and which radiate the obsessive energy of the characters tension, could be called a plotline refrain of ProvMyzas early video works. In their latest works (The Alternative Play Station, The Slippery Mountain, Falls and Rises, The Wet Chicken) the artists focus attention on the person as an object of external aggression, who is exposed to the overwhelming unmotivated impact of spontaneous manifestations of the world of objects. The de-individualized characters confined within screen are passive, monotonous, unshaped, and relative as if the time and place of their existence were restricted by the instant of the impact of physical reality which overrides them with its unpredictable will."
Tatiana Goryucheva, Arts Critic,
Historian of Contemporary Media Arts /Amsterdam, 2006/

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Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov , known as well as PROVMYZA Art Group,
have been as much presented at international film festivals as in exhibition spaces. They have deliberately shown their films and videos in different contexts. Their works, for example The Slippery Mountain (2004), can be shown in the cinema
as well as video-projected on the C-shaped screen likewise to create a large spatial installation. Living in the heart of the Volga region, equidistant from
all world art centers, Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov can be truly called cosmopolitan artists. But whether their inspiration comes from Bruegel the Elder paintings, Chekhov's plays or from Henry Peach Robinson photos the result of their work is a glamorous and captivating picture, which charmingly and inevitably plunges the spectator into the depth of suspense and concealed aggression. The characters
in PROVMYZA's films, whether a group of young people at the concert (Fugue, 2007)
or a dying girl in her bed (Pitter-Patter, 2009), are always enchanting
silky hair, caramel colours, velvety textures. Professionals in advertising
Myznikova and Provorov exactly know how to attract the gaze. However in the same
time they do not try to convince the beholder to buy the image, so the
gestures and mimics of their heroes stay persuasive, but distant, like
in classical opera. The artists always leave the spectator to balance on
the edge of fictional and true realities, puzzled.
However PROVMYZA's works are not so much intended to explore an aesthetic of fictitious truth as to examine the nature of complex interrelations they are full with. The dramaturgy of every film is built around active interaction a model
is hosed and dried (Wet Chicken, 2003), three little girls nudge and support each other (Three Sisters, 2007), young men climb up the mounting and fall knocking each other down (The Slippery Mountain, 2004). Conflicts between material manifest
eternal metaphysical oppositions like death and life, love and hate, despair
and hope, desire and rejection. Elements water, fire, and most often the wind,
are the tools and agents in these interactions. The universal issues at the core
of PROVMYZA's works, togather with their seductive aesthetics and depth symbolism, make each of them an inescapable trap.
Julia Abramova, Arts Critic /Vienna, 2010/

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New Russian Vanguards of PROVMYZA's video

Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorovs works By Eduardo de Jesus I got in contact
with Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorovs videos during the election of videos
for the last edition of Videobrasil. I was surprised with the formal construction
of the works, the forms of appropriation of the images in the assembly and
the development of the narratives. Galina and Sergey, who had come from the
universe of the experimental poetry and the television production, develop an
uneven work that had already been in prominence in the Russian pavilion
of the Venice Biennial (2005) and have been awarded in many international
festivals of cinema and video.
In their videos, the possible narratives, that never use dialogues nor words,
explore unusual situations that shows us with extreme formal severity - point
of contact with the Russian vanguards - traces of (almost) performing and choreographic acts, that give multiple meanings to images. For this, they use not
only image compositions with objects and utensils, as in Wet Table (2005), but
also people, as in the latest Despair (2008), in Fugues (2007)
or The girl helicopter (2005).
In Wet Table they take a table and a jar, which is unexpectedly broken,
as a starting point for the deconstruction and the dismount of any continuity.
They seem to operate the dilution of the most traditional relations of the assembly
to give place to one sophisticated relation between sound and image, guided more
by the sound and by the successive interruptions in the image that generate other rhythms. Everything is explored to exhaustion in a sequence of short duration
images of the water draining, reverting any possible more logical order in the assembly of the images. Is the jar still complete or is it already broken?
Similar procedure is used in The girl-helicopter (2005) in an assembly that
breaks up the pictures, corrupts the movements and creates an image that
functions almost as a shadow of what we see: a girl who is in front of a hair
dryer and is banging her head from one side to the other. Movement and
edition are together to create a strange illusion of rotation around
the proper axle, as the helicopters.
Fugue (2005) and Despair (2008), more recent works developed by them and
awarded in 2009 as the best short film in 38th edition of the International
Festival of Cinema of Rotterdam, seems to show another source related to
an uneasy approach with the field of performance and choreography in unusual narratives, almost surreal, and with images little assembled to any form of representation and more direct meaning. Everything seems to be slightly ironic.
As well as in the two first works the informality in the use of the short cut,
the soft and brief movements of camera, the total absence of visible edition
effects and the formal elaboration make the images extremely involving and always sufficiently enigmatic. If in Fugue it is the blow of the organ that provokes
the uneasiness state, in Despair the situation becomes more complex in the shock between the human being and nature. We see in the inhospitable environment of
a frozen landscape, completely white, bodies that move and try, in a weird choreography, to be adjusted to nature generating extremely well composed images
in the formal direction, emphasized for the quality of the photograph in black
and white. In the apparent calm of the frozen forest the disorder approaches
with the arrival of the human group and their fine twigs as an impossible disguise.
In the almost empty landscape they dislocate through the space, sometimes between
thin trees that are intercalated with images of the forest, in different plans
and compositions, almost without any movement. The suspense of the track does
not correspond to the movements and to the actions that we see in the image, generating much uneasiness since everything seems to oscillate between drama
and almost the comedy. The ways to articulate the supposed narrative, the tensions
of the edition and the track form a multiple set that points out with respect
to one total opening in the directions of the image.
How to disguise yourself in the middle of the nature, how to survive? And the crows? Do they fly or only hide us from the momentaneous possibility of being able to fly higher, to escape, to disappear in the middle of the immense sky? There is
a strange ambiguity in the images, perhaps a trace that approaches the works
of Galina Myznikova & Sergey Provorov of the vanguards. The same we can see
in Fugue. Which place is this and what do this young public do that is crowded
in front of us? We are kept in suspense until the public makes silence. Later
we hear a locution that announces: You are going to hear an organ concert. Everything seems so unusual. The young auditorium applauds as if it was a rock
concert even before the music starts and after waiting for a long period of time,
in which nothing happens.
The situation becomes even more absurd with the intensity of a wind that blows
very strong followed by music, as it came from something that we do not see -
the organ - to reach what we see - the auditorium. There is a tension between
seeing and not seeing, between showing and hiding. The auditorium reacts and
the situation little by little becomes even more surreal. Why dont they leave?
It is the bourgeoisie so discrete that they do not abandon the place? Images
are almost absurd and one of the strongest moments is the long closed plan of two youngsters, in the first line, showing only the hair moved by the wind.
There is a tension in one more ambiguous situation that is not clarified.
We do not know what happens there.
In Galina and Sergeys films the influences are many, since the long and opened
plans of Tarkovsky (it is inevitable not to remember of Nostalgia and
The sacrifice), the paintings of Pieter Brueghel and even Dreyers films.
All involved in a strange and always multiple atmospheres. In the contemporary artistic production is recurrent the movements of return, comment and change
of meaning of passages of art history. In the case of Galina and Sergeys works,
as in all multiplicity, there is a process that allows to update images.
In this case those coming from the vanguards that get new possibilities.
In Galina and Sergeys films the influences are many, since the long and opened
plans of Tarkovsky (it is inevitable not to remember of Nostalgia and
The sacrifice), the paintings of Pieter Brueghel and even Dreyers films.
All involved in a strange and always multiple atmospheres. In the contemporary artistic production is recurrent the movements of return, comment and change
of meaning of passages of art history. In the case of Galina and Sergeys works,
as in all multiplicity, there is a process that allows to update images.
In this case those coming from the vanguards that get new possibilities.
Perhaps it is not very easy to find the points of contact with vanguards,
but if we look more precisely to the vanguard cinematographic production
of Buuel, Eagling, Ray, Epstein and of course Eisenstein, it is possible
to find contact points. Especially in Romance sentimentale (1929) (or Sonata
of spring), a short film almost denied, put in a second plan (Buuel in his autobiography The last sigh affirms that he looked for the director to beat him because of this film) in the acclaimed Eisensteins filmography, but that brings
some interesting elements that in my opinion are updated by the contemporary
and sharp look of the Russian pair.
Directed by Eisenstein and his assistant Grigori Alexandrov, the film, despite
the air kitsch of a singer ahead of a brilliant white piano, shows nature images
that can be related to Despair. Here, updating combines with creation, invention
and reconfiguration of the forces that emanate of these nature images. Galina and Sergey bring update, but without losing the inventive fury and reconfiguration
of the vanguards, especially in the reformulation of the narratives and
the refined aesthetic composition.
Eduardo de Jesus, the Imagem-pensamento curator /Brasil/

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Interview for retrospective program in Italy

Nordine Sajot:
What I'd like to discuss with you is your approach to video and the way you started to use this media? Please explain us about the artistic language you are developping throught video.

PROVMYZA:
At the beginning of 90th we practiced experimental poetry. We were searching for radical forms of poetic expression. We saw the main task in refusal of text as such and in change to nonverbal forms. Video has appeared naturally as a result of poetic searches as the basic tool of expression including sound, an image and an opportunity of performative*content. We began with the abstract image. We completely ignored cutting or veiled it, using a mixing principle. We were interested in fluency and process examination. Video exists as a moving picture, abstract or figurative.
Video exists as equal and fluent river stream.Later the picture became more realistic, and the abstraction became a part of performative camera behavior. As a whole, the abstraction inside the work became a style which was expressed in original camerawork.
We tried to move camera to the object as close as possible to get a state of abstraction, and sometimes till the state when the image disappears, and wee see darkness.The relations similar to game appeared between the camera and the object
and these relations become an essential part of the matter. Subsequently we decided that using the method of subjective camera it is possible to transfer a certain emotional condition of the spectator, for example, anxiety, alarm or fear.
So we began to work more with psychological aspect. The emotional empathy of the spectator, and also modelling of a psychological condition became very important for us. "Discomposedly" is the appropriate word for describing the condition,
which we try to transfer to the spectator in our last works. In achievement of that condition an important role was given to the sound. At the beginning of our work with video we fondly supposed, that the soundtrack should correspond to the image, emphasize and meet its rhythmic structure. We tried to approximate the sound and the image to each other as much as possible, to synthesize or bring everything together. Soon we have understood, that such a filmloop approach is too banal and simple.
Then we tried to separate the image and the sound to different independent planes. The sound began to carry dramaturgic, emotional subbase instead of a rhythmic one as it was earlier. The philosophical and metaphorical comprehension of the matter became a prerogative of sound mounting of the film.

Nordine Sajot :
The experimental way you are working is a non narrative way to tell stories somehow?

PROVMYZA:
First we ignored presence of a plot or narrative in our videoworks.
It was connected with the critical attitude to the text and verbal language as a whole. As Witgenstein we considered verbal language imperfect for the purpose of exact information, a visual image transferring. Working on TV at the beginning of 90th we have developed the nonverbal information transferring concept for news programs
where we have offered several initial schemes for the operator, the director and the journalist. We tried to create plots without offscreen or an intraframe voice. Our theory lay on the possibility to show, that the information can be nonverbal and does not depend on knowledge of language. It is enough for it to be visual and noise.
If we return to art it is possible to tell, that not narrative approach gives us great artistic opportunities to the metaphorical expression.It is close to us because the metaphor has contact with the poetic form.For a story or a plot we use so-called " block system " montage. Each "block" has its own logic performative completeness, independence. By manipulation with finished "blocks", with their sequence we have an opportunity to form various senses, that is "to express" history or a plot somehow.
Presence of the beginning and the end, which can be logical and clear, not always also can confirm that the plot is presented in our works. As a whole, it is important for us, but it is presented at classical sense, perhaps, only in our last work "Fugue".

Nordine Sajot:
Performance is one of the main aspect in your research, can you tell us the way you are playing with it and what's your relashioship with the actors/performers?

PROVMYZA:
We show our special interest to mutes. Selecting mutes-types, we take into consideration their strange behavior and appearance. In such cases we frequently act as observers or provokers of certain action, for example, in film " Alternative Play Station " where we provoked children to actions and deeds.But frequently we need the "neutral" mute. The mute exists as a certain physical object, which makes some established movements in such cases.We select people, who are not burdened by theatrical skills or Stanislavski's classical Russian school, which is innovative at the theatre per se. We are close to the position of directors-formalists of the beginning of 20th like such innovators as Meyerhold or Piskator. It is not enough for dramatic art to be expressed through gesture or movement, the internal emotional experience, which is expressed through eyes or lips of the actor is not less important. It is important to approach to a person as close as possible, to abstract him up to an eye or hair on his skin. It is important to make the close-up. In such a position we try to combine Stanislavski's internal statics and external dynamics of Meyerhold. As for performance it comes from the very beginning as the counterbalance to theatre as more documentary and natural nonverbal process. Performance is a certain reanimator of contemporary theatre. Created specially for video, it connects to dramatic art or other basis behavior and reaction of the camera to an event, so it forms the language. Peculiarity of "our" performances is in fact that often their basis is not the action thought-out beforehand, but the documenting of what happens between, before or after the performance or what has appeared unexpectedly and naturally during the action. All that is complicated by the camera reaction on
the event.

Nordine Sajot:
There is a theatrical aspect in your videos that esthetically is also very srtong, do you consider there is a relashionship between your performing videos and theatre?

PROVMYZA:
As we have noticed before, there is a tendency of reforming, reanimation of the theatre by means of performance or/and special media and kinetic effects. But theatricality sometimes consists in chamber and isolation of performance. We have started working closely with actors only with our last film "Fugue", because of the plot. Till this moment we preferred mutes, instead of professionals. Usually we explained to mutes only the scheme of their moving or action, which was going to be done with them. The most significant from the point of view of work with nonprofessionals is our work Alternative Play Station where the child was the absolute mute for us who did not understand what is the theatre, acting, etc. by virtue of his age. Shooting took place in chamber conditions. Each plan was shooting not less than 15 minutes. The most interesting usually happened after carrying out by the child a certain task. He remained tte--tte with the camera and his further reaction was unpredictable. Only the child and the camera sorted out their relationship. But when we were shootings the "Fugue" all was on the contrary. Actors demanded the emotional opinion or an explanation from the director, they were not satisfied at all with our primitive tasks: to pass there from here. It was important for them to understand a psychological condition of play, they needed an associative line. It was important for them to express inwardness by means of mimicry or gestures.
As a result some takes we found too theatrical. They were not included into the final variant of the film. Naturalness was more shown in scenes between shootings when we purposely and secretly did not switch off the camera. Engaging the theatre actors for "Fugue" was connected also with some situational tasks solving, with which they coped better then the mutes. Some situations demanded improvisation. The plot basis of the film interpreted some artificiality and irony of the situations, played up in the film. It was necessary to choose some individuals from crowd and to enable them for self-expression. The film is rich in complicated collective movements, which refer us to performance and to formal theatre..

Nordine Sajot:
What about the dramaturgical aspect and the material elements you introduce in your works?

PROVMYZA:
We think that an object, a thing or something, which is created by the person, is formally more absolute, than the person. An individual during all his life sorts out his relationship with the nature of things. He is always in conflict with them. Dramatic art of his life is hidden in that.In our films we provide things with unusual for them attributes of the subject, ready to express the attitude to what happens, even ethically. It covers also the camera. We suppose, that daily, ordinary subjects conceal inside a certain danger to the person, something still incognizable. Some aesthetic, artistic improvement is in that, when functional is replaced for something invented and atypical. The way of life is destroyed so.

*Performative here and further derivative from performance as artistic expression in the form of action.

 

"Fugue" /2007/

"Fugue is surreal video in a typically grotesque, hyperbolic key with the humour
that we have become accustomed to seeing from Eastern European authors (for example the animations by Jan Svankmajer, the impossible spaces and extravagant situations
of Zbig Rybczynski, right up to recent works by the Polish artist Lech Majewski).
A group of young people - whose behaviour remains decidedly bizarre throughout
the video - gathers to listen to an organ recital, when they are overcome by a
wind that seems to have originated in the works be the instrument itself. When
the music comes to an end the wind finishes, too, but the young people are
highly amused and start blowing at each other before leaving, having exulted
and applauded enthusiastically as though at a rock music event.Paradoxical and inexplicable (where is the place? Why do the young people stay and not run away
when the wind starts? Why do they blow at each other?), Fugue is intriguing thanks
to its quite uncommon topic but also thanks to the photography which is purposely imprecise, while the shots are unusually framed. A symbolic story and, rather than
a fugue, an effort to stand up to the unexpected"
by "XVII edizione Mostra internazionale di video e cinema oltre" /Milano, Italy/

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"The video project Fugue, shown on the Premium Innovation 2006 exhibition became the apotheosisof principle musical module in visual montage of PROVMYZA's creativity. This work commensurable for me with the textof Gustav Mahler's Fifth symphony by it's universal symbolic. Grandiose polyphony of emotional conditions, paradoxical
logic of visual montage is filigree visualization of demolitions, antinomys of the Mahler's symphonic form development,through which this form finds unique and integral harmony. Moreover, the video work is devoted to people's reaction on a wind, which was evoked by organ furs in the old, blasted, baroque church interior. And all phases of listeners' complex experiences on the unpredictable world and against each other gathered in a composition of the symphony.It was possible to guess the adagio (exalted mood at the beginning of a concert) and the scherzo (rash skirmishes, biting words, which young men used in struggle for places in the hall) and ominous presto of the whirlwind,which swept off all the sitting people into freakish psychopathic compositions, sculptural groups.And watching this long video is not less fascinating, than listening to Mahler with all his small themes, episodes,special cases, which are built into a huge fresco almost of a history of mankind. Presented within the opus opposition:pathos - irony, tragedy - farce, mysticism - cynicism frightened off the contemporaries of the Viennese genius.But this excitement, ripples of the human life ocean established the universal scale of the opuses.And the work of PROVMYZA group is close to this symbolical dimension. Threat of tragedy, unaccountable fear
have appeared as a result test of human nature essence."
Sergey Hachaturov, art critic, journalist

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Russian film, for the most partin its massis ceasing to be a field for thought,
a field for posing and solving existential problems. The system of cinematic production works in such a fashion that it almost entirely forces thinkers out
of cinema art. However, potential authors can seek to find themselves in other
spheres of visual practice. Take, for example, Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov, the directors of the extremely promising short film Fugue (Fuga, 2007).
The directors are open to various suggestions from their personal fantasies.
They are engaged in installation art, poetic and material constructions. Two
years ago their aero-sound installation Idiot Wind (Volshebnyi veter, 2005)
was presented at the Venice Biennale. A description of the installation reads:
this is a complex engineering-technical construction, which scientists helped
to create; in the pavilion a viewer finds himself in a space that is penetrated
by gusts of wind, which at first he can touch freely, but then he begins to be dependent to the mounting energy of the air streams. I believe that this idea
was continued and developed in Fugue . The film's main character is the wind.
It attacks the audience at an organ concert, which takes place in a smallish
hall (located in a Catholic church, but probably the space is not being used
for confessional purposes). The musical sounds in the streams of wind that attack
the auditorium are personified: surprise turns to perturbation, and then to a transformation of connections and relations.Such metaphysical plotsclimate as
the main character, air currents as charactersall of this is more than a rarity
for contemporary cinema, and especially for Russian cinema, of course. The task
that the directors set for themselves somewhat exceeds the result they achieve.
But the backlash is not too great and creates the wonderful impression that
the idea appears in film with room for growth, with clearly defined prospects. Galina Myznikova and Sergei Provorov demonstrate such understandings, rare in
Russian cinema, as artistic whimsy, experimentation, and a healthy outsider-ness, which become a pacifist base to oppose commercial filmmaking.
However, the crisis of existential ideas, which dictate the transformation of cinematic language, is also a problem confronting European cinema. After all,
the big screen is, conditionally speaking, philosophy in images.
Tremor: Various Types of Unrest
By Marina Drozdova (Moscow)

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/Russian version/
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Conversely, I was very pleased with the awarding of a special prize for originality
to the excellent Russian film Fugue. Already last year, the filmmaking team
of Galina Myznikova and Sergey Prochorov surprised the audience with their praiseworthy experimental work Three Sisters, their unique style being truly distinctive and original. With long shots and a slow tempo, I was somewhat reminded
of the famous Tarkovsky disciple Alexander Sokurov. The over-extended pauses between action and reaction are known as his "emptiness", evoking the transcendental time
of a work (as in the oriental philosophical category "mu", applied in the films
of Ozu and Mizoguchi, for example; "it is the emptiness that gives purpose to the preceding action", explains Richie). I certainly value the film Fugue as more
than a bronze, as for instance Martin Lanik's unremarkable Episode VIII.
LUCIE CESALKOVA /A Cheerless Tour of the Brno Sixteen /


"The Slippery Mountain " /2006/

The project represents some condition between a life and death. There is the idea
what a movement is a life and no movement is a death. The frontier is a dream.
The idea of surfing contains an archetypal message from the world of recurring
dreams familiar to almost everyone. It is a message of the instincts to the rational parts of our mind.The dreadful dream when you had to climb up and roll down a steep slope, as well as of the punishment of mythic Sisyphus. It is potentially useful
work the outputs of which are useless in the framework of the existing society,
and the work itself is endless. But as Camus believed, a struggle to reach the top
is sufficient to fill one heart with hope.The film has the installation form too.
The size of the projection display of about 5 meters high; the construction in the shape of a sphere segment hanging above you and the low-frequency sounds were
intended to create an image of a sacred spot and mythological time, a feeling of
the sanctified and the dangerous equilibration. One cannot get rid of these impressions; they keep challenging and provoking you. That was why we decided
to take several close-ups of our characters' faces. The little visible movement
of face shows process what is like a falling in death or falling in sleep?
Interview for magazine PROIEZIONE, Italy

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The Slippery Mountain displays a dramatic and absolute ease in the cynical and critical transparency of the show, which has at the same time a somnambulistic, cruel, tender and playful dimension. A visual story that roughly puts on the scene the recent history of a nation. A lot of young guys are trying to climb a mountain, but they always get shot, they roll down and however they start again, on the rythm of the gun shots. An horrible dream, that opens to hope, to the wish of living and change represented by the young people."
Olga Gambari, art critic /Italy/

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The film characters resist the gravity; the slope resist their attempt to climb it, which in turn causes speed of the object to be uneven, and his body to be shattered with vibration, finally, the bodies themselves resist each other, impairing the movement and interrupting other partners motions. Mass media interpretations of The Slippery Mountain refer to Sisyphus myth, struggle to reach the summit, importance of the process over the result. These interpretations are accepted by Provmyza-like i.e. through the prism of proto-elements: repetition, visible vector of the gravity of the stone (which Sisyphus is currying), loss of visual anchor point of the horizon, changing perceptions of color and surface, (under the influence of characters exhaustion) that tranfer to the viewer, monotony, cycle, infinity and so on.
Rodi On, art critic /Japan/

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Russians Sergey Provorov and Galina Myznikova fell well in line with the festivals theme in their work The Slippery Mountain, which evoked the myth of Sisyphus as the idea of struggle. A young man dreams of people who climb a steep hill and, after gunshots are heard, roll downwards with ambiguous thuds. The piece, shown on a plasma screen hung vertically, was perhaps the most interesting of those featured by lesser-known artists. A macabre sense of discomfort underlies the classic beauty of the dreaming boy and brings the piece to a somber, disquieting finish.
The Carnaval is Over By Silas Marti / November 24th, 2007 /


"Wet table" /2005/
Par Mylene Boyrie
Licence IUP Metiers du Livre et Multi-Supports
Option Edition Numerique
Universite de Blaise Pascal
Clermont-Ferrand, France
Mars 2006
(French version)
http://nameo.pro.free.fr/txt/perso/wt.pdf


"Wet Chicken" /2003/
Interview: Russiske PROVMYZA hos Senko
15. november 2006
(Danish version)
www.aarhus.nu/reportage/06-11-15-2.html

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The radical nature of this video is coming from the fact that abstraction was achieved not by distoration of body image, but by shift in position of the camera, f.e. when it is excessively close to the filmed object. This way it is not only the image that gets abstract, distorted, erroneous, it is the position of the looker that gets questioned. In other words, radical nature of this method is primarily that aggressive impact hits both the object and subject of vision. The impact of the Wet chicken is similarly radical: everybody is forced to resist. It is both the young girl who is showered by water, and the gallery spectators, who impulsively try to shake off drops of water and attempt to squint and protect their already blinking eyes. And at the moment spectator withdraws his/her head to avoid the drops splashing from the screen to make him/her wet, he/she instantaneously merges with the Wet chicken at her NO gesture.
What does Wet chicken and its sympathizing viewers resist? Nothing. This is an elementary unit of resistance, it does not have the object. Alternatively, we can say that the Wet chicken resists water. Same is true for the spectators. Protest here is needed not to express ones political or social position, but to take a place in the world of visible, the place, which by provoking tension and friction highlights invisible in any other way elements of being. So, the work of Provmyza unfolds based on principle that the Subject (whether it is a human head, a child or viewer) is placed in the center of the art work and by the power of his/her own resistance functions as screen i.e. he/she highlights visual characteristics of the act, of which he/she is an object.
Rodi On, art critic /Japan/