2010 NEAR .FAR


Near. Far (2010)

Driver has his own sight, his personal sense of distance. Some things he sees closer and notices more details than just a pedestrian. When stuck in a traffic jam one will learn everything about cars around him and will study all holes on the road. In the thick of the frozen Brownian agitation one can rarely see things on the whole; the eye catches just their fragments. Here is shiny hot yellow hood over the arch of matt black wheel, which is cut by the border of the rear view mirror; here is the red cover of the door and rear fender, where on the left from the center can be seen a fine hexagon inscribed in the square- the petrol tank. At the rear window, still life pictures can been seen: a medical kit, a plush ostrich and a chess desk; a medical kit, a can of “Red devil” and three closely shaved backs of the heads; a fresh issue of “Housewife”, brochure by Rancier and a medical kit. Of course, driver not always close-sightedly studies things that surround him. Once outside the city borders, in the country, he believes in hallucinations of Russian distances. Racing on the empty road at a great speed one can meditate on the blinking lights.
Behind the driver’s wheel one lives in a special space with its own abstractions, still lives and mirages. Here real things are those that- whether you want it or not- will be in front of you, those that from a usual thing will turn into the element of art composition, those that reveal the reality of the imagined in the everyday life. The habits of sight, detached vision and phantasm of the observer have been Lyudmila Belova’s themes for the last 10 years.
In “Landmarks” project she created posters for the street information billboards that imitate astigmatism, combining two differently blurred photos. The artist likes to keep strange observations. Once in the country she found a pile of expired pickled cucumbers in a cellophane bag. The photo fixation of the rottening process was held in the course of the year which resulted in the exhibition, where the photos of cucumbers with brown mould were presented along with the photos of the cucumbers that we like: pickled, soft-salted, brined e.t.c.
Lyudmila Belova studies the reality on the edge of optics and illusion, destructing models of perception. Notwithstanding that she works mainly with the language of perception, her installations are only indirectly connected to the German and American conceptualism. In her works meditation and reflection do not become self-consistent form of artistic pronouncement. With her, the picture does not give its rights to the word; reality is given to us just through the optical illusions. These illusions are not connected with the language philosophy as it happens with post-modernist representations that illustrate the idea of the forged reality. Playing with the habits of sights and making failure of perception the content of her art works, Lyudmila Belova is closer to futurists with their belief that the city life can be told by distortions, displacements and dislocations. It is evident, that car worship and speed cult of the years 1910 is no longer on the agenda, but in both cases in Lyudmila Belova’s works we see realism on the edge of reality and perception, realism with the open construction. The artist gives us the feeling of reality in three ways: fragmenting things, transforming them and finding new combination of their parts and elements.
The video installation “Near. Far.” follows the project “The forced foreshortening”. This is a video triptych, consisting of the films that are shot in the situations, when the observer is not able to change his point of observance. In this new project, limited nature of the ways of observance is not a formal method, but a circumstance of a car driver’s life as seen in a new way. It is a delicate, simple, and somewhat ironic sketch on the reality of a big city.


Stanislav Savitsky