Provmyza—Sergey Provorov and Galina Myznikova—is among the most unusual art groups on the Russian art scene, their works (many have been shown at the world’s biggest exhibitions and film festivals) blending the languages of experimental cinema and video, opera, theatre, performance and installation.
Canons and Thresholds is a work of visual anthropology offering an analysis of filmic language—affective and full of ambivalent images in the group’s case—and a complex body of concepts associated with Russian traditional culture. The film was made in collaboration with the young artists who attended Provmyza’s course Volnye prostory in Nizhny Novgorod.
According to the artists, Canons and Thresholds refers us to the image of the grotesque body—one of important images of traditional culture that blends the high and the low. The naked body (the film’s protagonist is a naked man walking on stilts) is sublime and humiliated at the same time, and putting it on display means going beyond indecency and shame. As the film progresses, its language evolves, leaving the territory of ‘primitive farce for a contemporary art exploration of human body one can find in actionism and performance.’ The viewer’s anticipation of the subject’s suffering eliminates the possibility of empathy between the author and the spectator.
Canons and Thresholds premiered at the Media Forum of the 36th Moscow International Film Festival in 2014. Garage Screen is showing a new version of the film. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the authors of the film and special guests: curators and researches Olga Shishko and Karina Karaeva.
Canons and Thresholds
Provmyza Group and Volnye prostory project. Russia, 2015–2017. 45 min.