Escape Lines. 16 sep 2021 — 30 oct 2021

roman golovko


Myth can be a glorious illustration of the vitalistic non-differentiation of matter and life. Let us recall the ancient Greek story about Deucalion and Pyrrhus throwing stones over their heads - “the bones of the foremother of the Earth” - from which new people appeared. Or the medieval search for the philosopher's stone, which would
allow the transmutation of one substance into another. Transformation is one of the main archaic human fantasies. However, European humanism became the herald of an extreme degree of differentiation and the apogee of the hierarchy, at the top of which God the All-Father created man in his own image and likeness, and therefore, according to the logic of those who believe in it, endowed him with the right to put himself above other living beings, objects and phenomena.

It is interesting that today, describing the circle, history, like an ouroboros, bites its own tail and returns to ancient, like the world, ideas about the original indistinguishability of matter and life, in which the interpenetration of various substances and mythical or alchemical transformations were conceivable, and therefore possible. . Modern science, which has prosthetized a vigilant eye and sensitive hearing for a person, consistently proves the quantum indistinguishability of materialities, the absence of boundaries between things, and also allows you to hear the microprocesses of cellular metabolism and fix the movement of molecular lattices of solids - metals also live, just slower than we do. Thus, according to the vitalistic materialist Jane Bennet, today the end of human integrity and exclusivity is becoming a herald of a new ecology of things, where a person is the same political actor as an assemblage of animals, plants and inorganic objects familiar to us, “thing-forces” , which together constitute a single pulsating matter, unstoppable in its shimmering vitality.

The Formless Material installation is also an assemblage of fragments of an anthropocentric civilization found, as if after timeless archaeological excavations. His composition seems to exude the shimmer of this single and formless ocean of matter. The thrill of the “water surface”, which, if the viewer puts his hand on it, will turn him only into a participant in this exhibition assemblage, becomes a hint that the person himself is also an assemblage, devoid of integrity, made up of chemical elements and inhabited by creatures that are up to we could not even imagine the appearance of a microscope. So this symbiosis and transgression turns us into "every animal that lives in the world like water in water."


The effect generated by the movement, pulsation and friction of this oceanic, material, huge fold communicates itself to us through movement and sound. As atmospheric pressure is the effect of the attraction of the weight of air to the earth, so lightning and thunder are the effect of friction within a thundercloud pregnant with future precipitation. Intercellular exchange sounds like light sobs and murmurs of internal cell fluids. Sound is always an echo of macro- and microprocesses of friction and interpenetration of different types of materialities.

The unstoppable movement of the universe generates different types of noise, named after the colors we are used to - white, purple, pink and others. Even the planets "sound", and the imaginary silence of the cosmos is just a mistake of our imperfect perception. Someone calls this cosmic rustle the echo of a big bang, reaching us through thousands of billions of years. Someone says that this is an echo of the original "word" that heralded the emergence of the divine universe. We still do not know if the black hole - this scientific metaphor of nothing - is really silent, and if there is a place somewhere in the world where the "whisper of divine revelation" would not be heard.

In the CAGE installation, the artist becomes a translator who transmutes text into sound: thus the word cage corresponds to the sequence of notes indicated by the corresponding letters (C-A-G-E, Do-La-Sol-Mi). At the same time, the cell, as a real space surrounded by bars and wires, also begins to sound like a sequence of these notes, accelerating, slowing down, collapsing into a singularity of simultaneous reproduction. Cage is also the surname of the American composer, philosopher and artist John Cage, whose composition “4'33"”, which is an empty musical staff, speculatively proved that silence does not exist: “There is no empty space or unfilled time. There is always, on what to see and what to listen.
we did not try, we will not be able to create absolute silence <...> the sounds will last until I die. They will continue to exist even after my death.” Thus, sound becomes the perfect metaphor for the constant pulsation that life carries out in its continuous reproduction, and therefore, if we are able to hear the music of this world, death as a radical stop does not exist.


Using an interdisciplinary approach and a dialogue of objectivity, sound and a moving image, the artist shuffles the registers of habitual and rigid everyday life, which structures life supposedly for our convenience, but in fact serves as a conservative and reactionary preservation of the status quo, which only strengthens the rigid hierarchies of things and phenomena. The sound here is an expression of the dance of materiality, which, like the echo of an incessant open-air, excites the imagination and draws a wave of heated bodies that have escaped from the supervision of the everyday police.
Noise and glitch music — sonified, created, sampled sounds — is as abstract as possible and resists direct recognition and representation — rattles and thuds, grumbling voices, man-made squeaks, creaks and hums — flow into each other and leave the listener in limbo and uncertainty . In this sense, such sound techno-alchemy, as in the Script installation, serves as an ideal illustration of a metaphorical shift and translation - everyday life into sound, sound into matter, movement into text.

Carrying out such a kind of transmutation of states, the artist also transmutes artistic mediums, making the installation sound, and the sound flicker. Streams of vitality intersect, redirect and turn art into a messenger of meanings that undermine the usual course of things. So a window or a door, wide open in a dark and stuffy room, shines through with new sounds and smells. William Burroughs, the master of literary deterritorialization, shredding the linear narrative with its hierarchy of beginning and end, high and low, is here demanding a constant expansion of consciousness and an increase in the level of perception, which alone will not miss this message of the new. Art that robs us of the comfort of habitual lethargy is the script of a nomadic journey, an impulse that allows us to go beyond our limited selves, a blade that cuts everyday life with lines of anarchic exodus.


The Lines of Escape installation collapses the practice of artistic interdisciplinary translation and becomes a metaphor for deterritorialization and liminal (from Latin limen - threshold, threshold value) transition from one state to another. The image of a medieval bestiary, metal, sand, linen and digital video again make up an assemblage, next to which a person becomes only an equal part of it. Holes on the iron plate "circle" the figure of a wolf - this is how illustrations were copied in the Middle Ages. This analogy of transference and translation serves as a clear explanation of Deleuze's concept of a "hole" through which and due to which states are transmuted along the lines of escape: "Becoming-a wolf, becoming-inhuman deterritorialized intensities - this is the set. To become a wolf, to become a hole, is to deterritorialize according to different entangled lines.”

Deterritorialization is not just going beyond one's own limited territory, but also expansion, the capture of new borders, caused by the desire for either expansion or liberation. The very pulsating hovering between these boundaries, this threshold state, is associated with the transformation of human identity, social status, cultural values ​​and norms. Movement is impossible without going beyond the usual limited spaces, physicality and consciousness. Changes are brought about only through such transitions and extensions. This means that if we stop the automatism of the flow of everyday life even for a second and question the usual way of perception, then transmutation is possible.

Modernity is a field of experiments with identity. The human dream of transformations, transplants and prosthetics has become a reality today: the latest technologies and means of communication have made possible artificial bodily mutations and dispersion of consciousness in the information space. In the density of suffocating everydayness, the practices of transition and exodus along virtual lines of escape become a new counter-hegemony and political ecology of things. "Lines of Escape" is a virtual display of the possibilities of such a transition, the subversion of hierarchies and the manifestation of multiplicity. A modern techno-alchemist artist, pulsating objects, mutant spectators make freedom possible again and again. The cage of identity is crumbling, monsters are already talking to you, things are crawling out of the darkness...

Anastasia Khaustova