2007 ROOM “N”

Room N

The State Hermitage (Youth Center)http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_Ru/11/2007/hm11_6_87.html
The State Center of Modern Art, St.Petersburg, Russia.http://www.ncca-spb.ru/ 
January 2007 

The exhibition consists of two parts. The first part is a big hall with imitated museum room.
The screens are imitating museum exposition stands.
Video is projected on the screens. The first video picture is “Danaё” by Rembrandt. But you cannot see the whole picture; it is constantly blocked by the observers: this picture always attracts a lot of visitors.
Sound track: snatches of conversation and buzz of the crowd. 

The second video picture is called “Dedication to Vermeer”. There we can see a woman, sitting in one of the Hermitage rooms. It’s a lady custodian. 
The composition of the picture, the light and the theme remind of Vermeer’s pictures. 
On the third video picture the characters depicted on the canvas, fuse with its observers. 

On the wall at the end of hall a video called “Assembly” is projected. There you can see Hermitage ceilings, shot with the mirror effect.
It gives an impression of the state in which a visitor, having wandered in the museum for a long time, finds himself. The state of “beauty vertigo”. 
The small room by the “museum hall” holds the second part of the exhibition: “Security guards’ room” installation.
There are three monitors on the table, showing us the museum custodians. The video camera as if spies upon them, but they do not notice its “stare”.
Moreover, it could be “a stare” of security, that monitors the situation from their room, or it could be “the stare” of the pictures from the walls of the Hermitage. Who is watching whom? The observers watching pictures? The custodians watching the observers? Security guards watching everyone? Or the pictures watch the observers?