About The Walls Next To Me
Solo exhibition by:
01/12/2022 - 29/12/2022
Opening: 01.12, 18:00
Kalin Serapionov I About The Walls Next To Me
01.12-29.12.2022 г. I Opening: 01.12.2022, 18:00
"About The Walls Next To Me" is a video installation with performative realization, made up of footage of multiple strangers temporarily inhabiting a specific space.
In addition to their bodies, some are present there with a beloved item brought from their own home.
Within an hour or so, they communicate with each other, not in words, but silently.
At the heart of the project is the method of family constellations. Our individual behavior, feelings and attitudes are considered and made sense of in the context of the larger group, as each person is part of a family and assumes certain roles within that structure.
The space is Etage 8 - on the eighth floor of an industrial building on the outskirts of Sofia. The specificity of the particular architecture (a glazed space on the top floor), makes it something of a separate capsule in the overall urban environment. Sitting in it, one has a view from a distance in all directions. One can observe the residential districts, the industrial zones, the mountains, analyse the dynamics of the city. The aim is to inhabit this space with the presence of people, without speaking, under the sounds of their own bodies and the silence.
Yorgos Lanthimos' film “The Lobster” takes us to a dystopian environment where people without an intimate partner are forcibly sent to a special hotel where they have 45 days to find one (partner), and if they fail, they are turned into the animal of their choice. Under the pressure of this danger, the characters make every effort to fit into the framework of acceptable social behavior, using their entire arsenal of knowledge of what that would be, and, ultimately, failing. The narrative problematizes the conventions of human relationships, the vulnerability of the individual in a group, and change.
In his project, like Lanthimos, Kalin Serapionov builds a sterile environment for social communication, setting ground rules - no words, and a single goal - communication.
In the process of adapting to the unusual environment, primal human instincts and forms of exchange, usually suppressed in everyday life by our drive for productivity, come to light. Participants, seemingly constrained by the prohibition of verbal communication, seem rather liberated from it - they indulge in introverted pursuits - play, contemplation, sleep. Beyond the risk of being turned into a lobster or a pony (or suffering any lasting negative consequences), the individual is given the opportunity to consume time, space, his or her body even, exclusively in relation to his or her personal desires. As time progresses, participants also proceed to social activities, but these are again delicate, non-invasive.
Speechless, participants turn (anew) to the body as the primary medium of expression. We observe how, in some cases upgraded by the immutable prostheses of technology, it participates in new rituals of constructing proximity - those of contemporary cyborgs. At times, the body is self-sufficient; it seeks out surfaces, tissues, and at other times, other bodies.
In line with the rupture of capitalist ideology, the participants' behaviour is perhaps symptomatic of modern man's need for stillness and a rethinking of our ideal of a fulfilling life.
DoP Tillman Roediger
Operator steadicam Borislav Belberov
First Assistant Eva Petrunova
Assistant steadicam Vanya Ivanova
Gaffer - Dimitar Yordanov
Editing Kalin Serapionov
Sound Georgi Atanasov
Video equipment, installation and sound Dimitar Apostolov, Kiril Yanev, Studio Balkanji
Special thanks to Elena Antonova, Georgi Nikolov, Magic Shop, Orlin Ruevski, Momchil Tashev.
With the support of the National Fund "Culture" under the program "One-year Grand 2021" and "Program for the restoration and development of private cultural organizations".