Catalogue > At random

Dimitri Venkov


Doc. expérimental | 4k | couleur | 32:26 | Russie | 2016

The video Krisis is a reenactment of a facebook discussion among Russian and Ukrainian artists, which took place in December 2013 upon the tear-down of the statue of Lenin in Kiev during the early stages of the Maidan protests. The discussion unfolds at a pivoting point in modern history. In fact, it occurs at the very moment when History bursts into the scene as a force surpassing individual actors and dragging them into its course in an indefinite capacity somewhere between that of a witness and participant. Krisis should also be understood here as trial or judgment, where twelve jurors debate the meaning of the historical event but fail to pass a verdict. Just as with Pilate’s judgment of Jesus, the decision is not reached and the trial takes on “a continuous and implacable course, an incessant passing and progress through time.” The historical crisis is bound to last like trauma in psychoanalysis: separated from its original context, it reappears in pathological forms in every sphere and at every moment. Structurally and thematically it is a remake of the Sidney Lumet film “Twelve Angry Men.” This classic is an idealized image of the American democracy based on inclusiveness. In the film Krisis the situation is reversed: although the characters belong to the same circle or community, their positions are irreconcilable and mutually exclusive thus making a compromise impossible. There is no way out of this argument but to split apart. The film Krisis plays out a metaphor of a society divided by history, politics, and aesthetics. New challenges further polarize it and augment its internal contradictions revealing a crisis as a state of imminent threat that the society presents for itself.

Dimitri Venkov (born 1980) is a video artist and filmmaker working across art, film, and academic institutional contexts. His works have been presented at Vth Moscow Biennale, First Bergen Assembly, Hayward Gallery, Kino der Kunst, Documenta 14,Oberhausen and Moscow Film Festivals, and others. In 2012 he received the Young Artist Kandinsky Prize for his film Mad Mimes. He was nominated for the Moscow Innovation Prize and St. Petersburg Kuryokhin Prize. Dimitri is a professor of videoart at Moscow Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia and has lectured at Yale University, Moscow State University, Moscow Art and Multimedia Museum.