Dialogues from the Darkroom.
An Apparatus to Animate Lost and Blackened-Out Texts.

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20th and 21st of May 2016
at Luksé, Serebrennikovskaya ul., 31 Novosibirsk

Mobile Academy Berlin:
Concept and space:
Hannah Hurtzig

Concept- and script development:
Marian Kaiser

Stage design:
Florian Stirnemann

MAB management:
Philipp Hochleichter

Team Novosibirsk
Director Goethe-Institute Novosibirsk:
Stefanie Peter

Project management:
Mikhail Kazantsev

Co-curator and program coordinator:
Julia Churilova

Translation and interpretation:
Nadja Orekhova

Stage Manager:
Olga Karaseva

Set design assistant:
Victoria Ivleva

PR and media relations:
Elena Nosova

Anna Morozova

Alexandra Golubeva

Assistant project management:
Natalia Trukhacheva

Graphic design:
Timur Zima

Video documentation:
Vitaly Valishevsky, AVI
Roman Ivanyutenko, AVI

script girl:
Marina Nikiforova

Stage construction:
Alexey Bulgakov, Mikhail Ovchinnikov, Elkruff

Sergey Shlamus, Elkruff

Make-up artist:
Elena Khabarova

Translation and interpretation:
Svyatoslav Gorodetsky
Valeria Kolodina
Oleg Nikiforov
Tatiana Padve
Andrey Romankov
Aleksandr Selesnev

Aleksandra Rud
Anna Umrihina
Ekaterina Kozlovksaya
Daria Andreeva
Ksenia Zhukova
Luchia Postike
Maria Zykova
Olga Obrezanova
Olga Kusnetzova

Texts & Ideas
Daniel Barber
Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol
Ralph& Stefan Heidenreich
Piotr Pavlenski
Wladimir Velminski

Vladimir Alekseev
Vera Alievna
Aleksander Bakaev
Tatyana Barchunova
Alice Chauchat
Alina Chernenko
Mariana Golova
Olga Grebenyuk and Timur Sattarov
Tamara Kazantseva
Sergey Konyshev
Tom Lamberty and Merve Verlag
Aleksey Mazur
Sergey Samoilenko
Jury Schatin
Nadezhda Oynotkinova
Olga Rebkovets
Dzhamil Rzaev
Evgeny Solomin
Denis Yurkovets
Andrej Zhdanov

Information partners:
Restaurant #SIBIRSIBIR
Travel agency “Olympia-Reisen-Sibir”
Webportal tayga.info
Online-magazine sib.fm
Siberian transport television
Magazine «Status»
Magazine „Sobaka.ru„
Magazine „Dorogoe udovolstvie-Novosibirsk“
Online-magazine VOLNA
Magazine „Stil“
Online-magazine Siburbia.ru


Dialogs from the Darkroom.
An Apparatus to Animate Lost and
Blackened-Out Texts.

A project by Mobile Academy Berlin in collaboration with the Goethe Institute

A Siberian premiere! The Mobile Academy Berlin is visiting Novosibirsk to stage their new production Dialogs from the Darkroom.
As a special occasion asks for a special venue, the production will not be shown in a theater or museum, but on the top floor of the Novosibirsk fashion store Luksé. In the heart of the darkroom apparatus, the audience can discover lost and blackened-out texts!

Photo by Damir Muratov, Omsk - discovered in a by-road in Novosibirsk

Once written down, stories become texts. Texts can be read and distributed, but they can also be banned, burnt, lost, or simply forgotten. But if stories are preserved and remembered by people, it is harder to suppress their spreading. All it takes is a narrator capable of reciting a story in a specific space and an audience that can hear it. Thereby, storytelling has the potential to bring back what has been erased, blackened, hidden, or was never written. Dialogs from the Darkroom installs an apparatus that catalyzes and assists the process of this recovery.

The protagonists of the apparatus are "storytellers", experts from various fields from Novosibirsk, along with selected theorists and artists from Berlin, St. Petersburg, and Moscow.

The apparatus consists of six units (the waiting room, the office, the cinema, the studio, the kitchen and the cinema) the audience are invited to traverse. They present various speech acts in different formats, live and on video: expert lectures and dialogs, charismatic consultations, kitchen gossips, recited and performed texts.

All units operate simultaneously. The audience can walk through the installation like in an exhibition, connecting themselves to any part of the apparatus they are attracted to via a ten channel audio system. The empty top floor of a Novosibirsk luxury fashion store will provide an unusual space for the set-up.

Robin Cackett on self-censorship

„DEAD SOULS“, second volume, burned by Nikolai Gogol and “THE INTERROGATION“ by Pjotr Pawlenski.

On the night of February 24th 1852 Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol burned the second volume of his best-selling “epic poem in prose”, Dead Souls.

Only fragments of the text have survived this famous act of self-censorship. The Purgatory, as the second part was titled, is the central text that will be re-animated in the Darkroom Apparatus and re-contextualized in our times.

What would the book tell us, if it was finished today? The apparatus extends three central motifs of the lost book into today’s world:

1. The credit system: Tchitchikow was the first Russian credit broker, trading a value without counter-value. How can the credit situation in the current economic system be described, both locally and globally?

2. The dead souls: The dead play a vital role among the living in the novel. How does our current society treat conditions between life and death?

3. Travel literature: Dead Souls is a road movie, a study in applied ethnography. How do today’s explorers in academia, science, and art experience their journeys into unknown territories?

For every motif, we invited a selected group of experts from Novosibirsk to discuss the current state of Gogol´s topics in today’s reality. From the darkness of the apparatus, populated with shadows and silhouettes, the phantasms of Gogol´s words come back to life with a ghostly whisper, telling us of our present as future, while the Novosibirsk actors Vladimir Lemeshonok and Lavrentij Sorokin enact an unpublished text by the Russian artist Piotr Pavlenski, whose body of work will also be evoked in a kitchen gossip with theorists, artists, tea, and vodka.

Lawrence Liang after 5 hours of shooting

Wladimir Velminski talks about Malewitsch

„The Interrogation“ took place March 28, April 17 and June 20 in 2014. In „Dialogues from the Darkroom“ the actors Wladimir Lemeshonok and Lawrentij Sorokin from Novosibrisk will rehearse and perform for the cameras a reading of the interview between Pawlenski and an investigator. The video will be ready this summer.



ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: Пятьдесят первая. Я, может быть, буду давать какие-то показания. Буду говорить о своих мотивах и намерениях. О процессе искусства.

СЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬ: Я понимаю, что это искусство и против искусства ничего не имею. И государство наше против искусства ничего не имеет. Это не 80-е годы. И не Советский Союз. Но вы должны разграничивать искусство и совершение противоправных действий.

ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: На самом деле нет границы, противоправные действия — это некая риторика, в которую пробуют облечь искусство.

СЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬ: Вдруг потом, не дай бог, конечно, вы кого-нибудь убьете.

ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: Я очень трепетно отношусь к чужим жизням, даже мясо не ем.

СЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬ: Прикольно. Вы возьмете и ради искусства убьете человека. Но
это искусство убивать, помните, был такой чувак с усами и челкой, тоже можно назвать искусством. Понимаете. Смотрели «Два капитана-два»? Там был доктор Фаргус, он родился без ног и был призван громить и уничтожать архитектуру.

ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: Гюстав Курбе, он же повалил Вандомскую колонну.

СЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬ: Или, не дай бог, ни в коем случае, а такие случаи будут еще, чтобы никто не стал жертвой такого искусства. И вот приходит человек и говорит — это искусство, а оно требует жертв.

ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: То, что вы говорите, понимаю, но мы должны тогда опираться на факты. Во всех акциях, которые я проводил, не было ни одной жертвы, только я сам, если это слово здесь вообще употребимо.

СЛЕДОВАТЕЛЬ: Вы понимаете, что поджигать покрышки на архитектурном сооружении, давайте признаемся, что Малый Конюшенный мост — это архитектурное сооружение, я понимаю, была бы это улица.

ПАВЛЕНСКИЙ: Брусчатку, которая состоит из гранита, а гранит — это огнеупорный материал, не дерево, не деревянный мост. Если бы это было в парке, может, деревья бы вспыхнули, а так это гранит, камень.

Texts by Pawlenski, - the interrogation, his manifesto, and talks with colleagues, - will be published in german this summer by two Berlin publishers: merve verlag and ciconia-x-ciconia.


The Ensemble

1st round – On the Road
Andrey Dubovoy, neurosurgeon, Federal Neurosurgery Center in Novosibirsk
Irina Oktyabrskaya, Institute of Ethnography, Professor at Novosibirsk State University
Boris Travkin, filmmaker, camera operator, traveler, head of ‘Novosibirskkinovideoprokat’
Irina Yakunina, photographer, traveler

2nd round – The Credit System:
Dmitry Cholyavchenko, historian, credit counsellor, and social activist
Sergey Dyachkov, entrepreneur, politician, consultant
Olga Valieva, senior researcher, Institute of Economics and Industrial Engineering Organization of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Irina Demchuk, banker, Senior Vice President and CEO of the Novosibirsk branch of Bank ‘Otkrytie’

3rd round – The Dead and the Undead
Sergey Yakushin, businessman, director of the Novosibirsk crematorium and the museum for sepulchral culture
Oxana Timofeeva, philosopher, lecturer, member of the artist’s collective ‘Chto delat?’
Alexander Chernyavsky, professor, heart transplant surgeon, Meshalkin Institute
Igor Chubarov, philosopher, Institute of philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences

Konstantin Skotnikov, artist, artists collective ‘Blue Noses’
Oxana Timofeeva, philosopher, lecturer, member of the artists collective ‘Chto delat?’
Wladimir Velminski, media theorist, Berlin

Konstantin Antonov, journalist, sociologist
Philipp Krukinov, artist, curator
Mayana Nasybullova, artist, designer, material specialist
Natalia Pinus, politician, activist
Lada Yurchenko, PR specialist, festival and event organizer
Praise to Gossip: Marc Siegel

Vladimir Lemeshonok, actor and director
Lavrenty Sorokin, actor and director

Oleg Domanov, senior researcher at the Institute of Philosophy and Law of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Denis Sablin, psychoanalyst and former theater director

THE CINEMA “Censorship is the mother of metaphor”
Cast: Lawrence Liang, Dorothee Wenner, Prashant Iyengar
Director: Hannah Hurtzig
Camera: Johannes Funk
Sound: Tito Knapp
Editing: Eric Menard
Simultaneous translation: Irina Bondas
Research and production: Arnika Ahldag

Actress: Yanina Tretyakova
Performer: Olga Leonidovna

Venue: 4th floor of the departement store Luksé in Novosibrisk