This piece explores transitional states — first and foremost, those that are between life and death.
I first began to fear death when I was five. In retrospect, this fear was provoked by a desire to live. With time, I understood that it’s impossible to live with one’s eyes closed and that it’s crucial to be in the ‘here in now’ and not just physically but spiritually as well.
A combination of the following two incidents lies at the core of this piece:
I. Five years ago, I went on a boat trip with some friends. One of the days, it wouldn’t stop raining so everyone was huddled under a tarp getting warm by the fire. I was tired and wanted to sleep so I got into my tent instead. I fell asleep for I don’t know how long and what I saw, I can’t really call a dream. I was in a space where everything was white. There were no objects — just white nothingness. I couldn’t see my body nor hear anything. And yet, I felt overwhelming happiness like I’ve never felt before. It filled me to the brim and it was the only thing I felt. After some time passed, I realized that this total happiness was death and that I need to wake up immediately. I did but realized that I wanted to go back and fell asleep again. Then, I woke up again and went back to sleep once more… This went on for some time until a friend of mine entered the tent and woke me up completely. After this incident, I began to search for the meaning of what happened and realized that this is what the state between death and one’s future life looks like. My fear of death decreased and I was now able grasp that moment that was previously beyond my comprehension.
II. Three years ago, I moved into a new studio. The studio used to belong to an artists that died 19 years ago. He was 47 at the time. Along with the studio, I also got his slides. They were photographs of his friends and family and were mostly taken during his travels. I decided to project the photos and while some of them remained as is, a number of them began to dissipate. This may have been because the studio was in pretty bad shape; it often flooded, was overwhelmingly humid with an overgrowth of mold, and no one head worked there for five years. Anyway, the slides began to dissipate before my eyes — some more, some less and white light would stream from beneath them. I watched them unable to turn away and suddenly, the puzzle came together — this was my dream and what was happening to the slides was the transition from one incarnation to another. The desire to illuminate this transition is reflected in this video.
2017 “New Literacy”, 4th Ural Industrial Biennale of Contemporary Art, Main Project, Ekaterinburg, Russia
2016 “The Coordinates of Disappearance”, Artwin Gallery, Moscow, Russia
2015 “On the Other Side”, Kicik Qalart Gallery, Baku, Azerbajjan