Alexandra Dementieva at CCNOA on Vimeo
February 13 – March 8, 2009
Alexandra Dementieva (b. 1960 in Moscow; lives and works in Brussels) studied journalism and fine arts in Moscow and Brussels. Her main interests focus on social psychology and perception and their application in multimedia interactive installations. Her videowork integrates different elements including behavioral psychology, developing narrative using a ’subjective camera’. Her interactive installation projects attempt to widen the mind’s potential for perception using different production materials: computers, video projections, soundtracks, slides, photography, etc. By making certain historical, cultural and political allusions, her exhibition locations create the frame within which the idea develops. The projects explore the spectator’s depths of perceptual experience and the interaction of the individual spectator with the exhibition as well as with other visitors. The subject of an installation or its production method becomes less important to her than the mind of the user. Thus the latter becomes the center of the project or the main actor in the performance.
The installation consists of 800 transparent, pearl-colored latex balloons forming two corridors (each around 3 m long) leading to a central circular space. The balloons are reminiscent of living cells, futuristic buildings, laboratories, children’s rooms at Halloween… The installation generates mixed feelings of curiosity, attraction and repulsion at one and the same time. The shining metallic surface is threatening and the fragility of the thin balloon disturbing. When the visitor moves through the narrow corridor, from time to time he accidentally touches the balloon wall, triggering mumbling noises and an occasional weak light shining from inside. When he reaches the central space, his movements effect changes in the audio and video environment. The closer he approaches the opposite wall, the more it is populated by blurry images and creatures. A few steps further on and he can clearly recognize the creatures – television newsreaders interspersed with images of robots and blurry androids. When the visitor is in the middle of the space all the images and faces are clear and bright (as much as they can be on such a surface) but the sounds become loud and irregular, creating noises that are difficult to bear. If the spectator moves close to the wall, the cacophony of voices decreases, creating a place for one or two images. They stay visible; it is possible to understand what they are talking about and recognize what they are. This piece uses images from news bulletins broadcast by various international television stations. They will be recorded over a period of 2 to 3 weeks. The short films (which were first processed journalistically) will be collected and some of them will be reworked and a new soundtrack created. The sequences are regrouped and combined in a 40-cell navigation system. The installation exposes the visitor to staged virtual life while at the same time placing him physically and emotionally face-to-face with a worrying reality filled with accidents, potential destruction, dramas and love stories…