The project initiated by three artists—Lendl Barcelos, Valentina Desideri and Myrian Lefkowitz, who promote experimental approaches to the sensory perception of art, is aimed at the development of sensory practices in Russia.
A (Mis)reader’s Guide to Listening is a project accompanying the exhibition Infinite Ear in the format of performative mediation. By definition, it refers to the ambiguous nature of the experimental art piece. On one side, it is mediative communication immersing the visitors in the subjects covered by the show delivered by “unsanctioned guides”—mediators—that has been developed as a combination of artistic, therapeutic, musical, poetic, and conceptual practices, stimulating the participants and the visitors to expand their idea of the limits of perception. On the other, interaction with the visitors takes place in the mode suggested by the artists, where each mediator works as a performer by conducting their own score, concentrating on their mood and physical condition, rather than the level of mutual understanding with the audience.
Co-conceived by the artists Lendl Barcelos, Valentina Desideri and Myrian Lefkowitz with twenty-five guest performers based in Russia invited via an open call, the performative mediation A (Mis)reader’s Guide to Listening navigates novel ways of interacting with sound. The artists emphasize the importance of the deaf experience by engaging deaf and hard of hearing people as experts. During the preparation seminars Barcelos, Desideri, and Lefkowitz introduced the prospective mediators-performers to the accumulated techniques of sound perception and interpretation. Drawing on teamwork, the artists nevertheless activated the individual experiences of the mediators-performers too, in order for them to develop their own ways of (mis)reading and guiding visitors through the exhibition.
In the participants’ own words, the experience acquired via their involvement in the project radically changes their approach to practicing live formats of art. Methodologies suggested by the artists are of great value for Garage as an institution, allowing the discovery of new challenges and options while working with visitors. One of the performers-mediators, Anya Kravshenko, invited by Garage, has created an online publication—an essay describing the project, while several other participants formed the group Museum of Sensing Practices and continue to experiment with bodily and sonic practices independently at various Moscow venues, expanding the perception of the mediation and digging deeper into their own research.
Conception: Lendl Barcelos, Valentina Desideri, Myrian Lefkowitz
Performers-mediators: Kristina Vegera, Irina Venskaya, Elizaveta Vladimirova, Artur Vodolagin, Daniil Vysotsky, Vadim Elichev, Marina Zadvornaya, Galina Izmailova, Katya Kanke-Zaikkanova, Anya Kravchenko, Viktoria Kuzmina, Svetlana Marshankina, Vadim Nikolaev, Polina Pugacheva, Alexandra Puchkova, Katya Reshetnikova, Polina Rodrigez, Anna Ryabova, Snezhana Sukhotskaya, Evgeniya Fomina, Anastasia Shakhova, Vera Schelkina, Karina Scherbakova.
Project curators: Council Art Group, Iaroslav Volovod, Anastasia Mityushina
Project managers: Ekaterina Arkhipova, Marina Romanova
Project coordinators: Valeria Dushkina, Olga Komalova