Time keeping

April 27 - July 02, 2016

“What then is time? If no one asks me, I know: if I wish to explain it to one that asketh, I know not” (Saint Augustine (Confessions))

From 27 April, Marina Gisich Gallery presents its first media project by Elena Gubanova and Ivan Govorkov.

The beginning of the 20th century saw a revolution in physics – moving away from Newtonian mechanical models of the universe and toward figurative cosmological models. Physicists began working with abstract concepts that are more characteristic of artists than of scientists. Theories of astrophysics have names like “dark material”, “wormholes” and “string theory” that reflect the imagery and exactness of a metaphor.

Experimentation has remained a tool for confirming theories about the universe, but creating models that anticipate the experiment is one of the fundamental practices of modern science and art. Today, the artist and the scientist may have virtually identical visions of the modern world. If their languages have grown so close, is it possible to find convergences?

The artists have used the exhibition space like a laboratory, consciously choosing to juxtapose different styles and genres: painting, video, objects, and conceptual statements. By placing them together, the authors strive to accentuate the relationships that can connect these works, creating an emotional and intellectual tension.

For example, the series Observation of Mars in 1937 (paintings with photos of astronomical observations from 1937) is combined with the video installation Eclipse in the exhibit. Through the repetition and cyclical nature of the video culminating in a full eclipse, through the chaos and dread consuming all living beings, the artists draw parallels to history.

Time is commonly thought of as a line (theoretically, a line of infinite length) where the present moment is located as a constantly moving point. Everything that is ahead of the current moment is the future, and everything that is behind it is the past. However, just as a line can be described as a sequence of points in various positions, any moving or changing object can also be thought of as a sequence of non-moving “snapshots” of itself.

In the project Life As Life. The Discreteness of Time (vintage photo enlarger, video), the artists seem to be observing the serene flow of life, while at the same time breaking the “arrow of time” by “manifesting” the uniqueness of each separate event. Life consists of repetitions, giving the illusion of different events combined into a single “stream”.

One of the artists’ new installations is Keeping Time. As the viewer’s shadow falls on a wall made of cardboard storage boxes, it “activates” the ticking sound of clocks in different pitches and at different volumes. The more shadows, the louder and more varied the sound of the clocks, and each person’s “personal time” blends into the stream of sound. When all the viewers and their shadows walk away, the “universe” is silenced and time “stops” … time exists because of you. It is just a shadow of what you are…

In The Visible Manifestation of the Unmanifested or How to Hide Behind Mama’s Skirt, an op-art optical metaphor for the rigid and distinct “cosmos” is softened by human “breath” and the sound of a heartbeat. And it is offset by the ironic philosophical object Stone Time. Past, Present, Future, where habitual human time has tragically disappeared behind a stone covering.

The exhibition is based on a person’s awareness of the internal perception of time. It demonstrates the fluidity of the moment and the physical experience of the moment through sound and metaphor. …Time and space are illusions, and their apparent existence is due to the events that they accompany and make perceptible…

Opening Reception: 27 March at 19:00 / 121 Fontanka Embankment
Hours: Mon-Fri: 11:00 – 19:00, Sat-Sun: 12:00 – 18:00 (call first)