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Collaborations

The Mystery of the Water Evil 

“The Mystery of Water Evil Spirits” is a performative exploration of urban (local) mythology and evil spirits. 

We chose two locations in Saint Petersburg that exemplify spaces filled with grief, loss, hope, despair, and time's irreversibility for this project: the Smolenka River next to the Smolensk cemetery and the Karpovka River next to the church. The unclean forces, guides between the dead and the living worlds, inhabit the places near the city's filthy rivers. Mermaids, crows, newts, hippocampuses, wanderers, naiads, pharaohs, melusines ​​are the ones who carry the knowledge that we (people) continue to miss, the knowledge of why we live on Earth. They are the creatures who keep the memory of the circumstances and reasons for our death. 

 Since the war broke out and Russian troops invaded Ukraine, we have stopped our project. However, now we see an opportunity to continue it by turning to the study of the rituals of collective and individual lamentation, the study of the religious practices of praying for souls.
Trying to overcome learned helplessness, we call on otherworldly forces to assist us in patience on the difficult path of changing the structures of our bodies and psyche in the struggle for changes at the political level.

To continue the project with this modified conception in Russia is dangerous. Therefore, we decided to expand the study and launch a branch of the project in those places where we ended up by coincidence and our choice.

Our research methods are hydrofeminism, listening practices (sound walks), landscape studies (soundscape, ecology, history), immersion of hydrophones for recording and listening, magical ritual practices, working with dubious sources of information, working with “fakes”, participant observation, autoethnography, working  with the agency of city architecture, theory of anarchism, and biosemiotics.

The mystery takes place in the format of two performative laboratory walks in the city, which will be based on the practices collected from the research results. The further plan for the project is to create an online app for independent walks, each based on practical research, context, history of places, and offline walks with invited participants.
An important context of our work is the fact that the Waterfront organization (Russian side) with the support of which the project was going to be implemented, refused to support the change of concept in favor of the anti-war theme. As part of our participation in the project, there was also an exchange with the Dutch side, in which we were also refused. When we discovered an open call in the 1646 residence, we thought about the potential opportunities to explore the conception of the project independently of the Waterfront.

Project creators: Marina Karpova, Lilya Akivenson and Marina Shamova
Leading walks: Yulia Voronovskaya, Daria Boldyreva, Lilia Akivenson

Bot for walking 
Photo: Ilya Davydov

First movement of the Mass of Notre Dame by Guillaume de Machaux
Mass - the main genre of medieval church music - spiritual chants performed during worship. Mass "Notre Dame" by Guillaume de Machaux (1300-1377) is the first author's mass recorded on the full text of the ordinary. The reconstruction experience that the musicians undertake in this project is unusual: the vocal parts are performed on a flute, two guitars and a cello. As a result, the text is erased in the Mass, the solidity of the work breaks up into small particles, the sound is delayed, as in the Notre Dame Cathedral with its unique acoustics.

Performers: Andrey Popovsky, Denis Sorokin, Marina Karpova, Ignat Khlobystin

Click
"Click" is a multimedia installation based on Hoffmann's fairy tale "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King", where Nikita Seleznev refers to the concept of duality between Hoffmann's literary works and the era of romanticism in general. The installation brings together sculpture, objects, digital images and audio works created in collaboration with composer Marina Karpova and architect Grigory Baluev.

Hydrofeminist walk near the Karpovka River
The sound walk by the river is an important practice of articulating what the invisible body of the current is, the subtle activity beneath the surface of the water. This is a rhetorical statement of the question: is it possible through hearing to cause the realization that we, like the river, consist of water, and how strongly we can be connected with it? After all, water connects all bodies with each other due to its cyclic movement, transgressing, overcoming the geopolitical boundaries of territories and penetrating both human and non-human organisms. The creators of the walk were inspired by the texts of the scientist and water researcher Astrida Neimanis, author of the book “Hydrofeminism, or Becoming the Body of Water”, fragments of her texts will be heard during the walk.
Presenters:
Marina Karpova
Daria Boldyreva
Hydrofeminism is a knowledge that unites everything that exists on earth, since life came out of the water. Hydrofeminism is solidarity between water creatures, which are people, including water spaces - rivers, lakes, seas, oceans. Hydrofeminism is about caring for bodies of water. Water is transnational and transmaterial, and hydrofeminism teaches us that we are involved in the water cycle and should not remain indifferent to the environmental problems of society. Water flows through bodies, nature, things and unites us. You take a sip of water, and the water taken from outside gets back into the world through you: water is transcorporeal. The event takes place as part of the Walking Laboratory, which opens the public program of the new St. Petersburg initiative Assembly. The general theme of the program - "Factor of Evolution" refers to the famous text of the Russian revolutionary and scientist Pyotr Kropotkin, in which a revision of the theory of evolution was made through the study and analysis of symbiotic types of coexistence in various biological communities, ranging from simple life forms to humans.
photo: Ksenia Bondarenko

Sound walk by the Krasnenkaya River as part of the Red Biennale
The sound walk by the river is an important practice of articulating what the invisible body of the current is, the subtle activity beneath the surface of the water. This is a rhetorical statement of the question: is it possible through hearing to cause the realization that we, like the river, consist of water, and how strongly we can be connected with it? After all, water connects all bodies with each other due to its cyclic movement, transgressing, overcoming the geopolitical boundaries of territories and penetrating both human and non-human organisms. The creators of the walk were inspired by the texts of the scientist and water researcher Astrida Neimanis, author of the book “Hydrofeminism, or Becoming the Body of Water”, fragments of her texts will be heard during the walk.
Presenters:
Marina Karpova
Daria Boldyreva

Performance by Alina Mikhailova and Marina Karpova "What I see when I see"
“I don't dance to music and the music doesn't follow me. It is as if we simultaneously enter a place where music and dance coexist on equal terms and change depending on each sound and each choice of movement. What will happen will be born right on the spot from how we will feel the space around us. The exhibition is an environment filled with meaning, so it is especially interesting to perform at it. The space is saturated with many different contents, united by one goal. A work of art, placed in a certain context, begins to work in a special way. The same picture, placed in two spaces with different ideas, will sound different, different aspects of it will become more visible. The same is true for dance and music” — Alina Mikhailova

On the waves of the Southwest

Radio show at 3 stops
Travel around the area and past and future by tram
Technique: verbatim and field recordings
The radio play was prepared as part of a master class by artist Ahmed Al-Nawas on the collective creation of a literary text.
The radio play project was commissioned by the Creative Association of TOK curators as part of the 5th season of the Critical Mass project in 2021.
One of the largest districts of the city finds its voice in the radio play "On the Waves of the South-West". The words of local residents, voiced by the voices of residents of other areas - they paint a single portrait of the Krasnoselsky district.
The hero of the radio play, tram number 60, travels through the quarters, invading the past and the future. The tram appears both as a time machine and as a link connecting eras. He rushes from the idea of ​​Soviet architects about the "city of the Sun", stumbling over the shaft of an unbuilt metro, to the expanses of the Gulf of Finland, the waves of which merge in unison with the sound of tram wheels, creating a special meditative content of the radio show.
It is customary in Russian culture to look at the tram from the outside - usually it is a vehicle or a symbol of disaster - everyone knows that oil and rails are two things that do not go together.
For the first time we go inside the tram and listen to his memories as a hero, observe the people around us. It is not known how the route will end - the desire to get off at the nearest stop or the desire to buy property at the final one. The choice is up to the viewer and the tram itself, which opens the doors only on demand.

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Creators: Elena Sylova, Anastasia Vepreva, Roman Osminkin, Elena Atnagulova, Marina Karpova

Opera-installation “Light Songs” together with Ekaterina Sokolovskaya (sculpture) and Maria Morina (documentary poetry/libretto)

View of the exposition of the exhibition "Choosing the distance: speculation, fakes, forecasts in the era of coronacene". Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow. 2021
Photo: Ivan Erofeev
© Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

Simple and complex counterpoint

Sonic Fiction - performance for two recorders. The work was created in collaboration with Sonya Skobeleva / 2021 / photo: Maxim Pozin

Music for Nikita Seleznev’s work “Unfinished Project”/Yeltsin Center, Yekaterinburg, 2021/ photo: Luba Kabalinova

Sound design for Nikita Seleznev’s work “On the Tip of the Tongue”, Vll Moscow International Biennale for Young Art/ Moscow, 2020

Audio-visual installation "Superformula" in collaboration with Ivan Belov, presented at the exhibition "Loose threads: when two become one" (2020, UK).

Sound for Ekaterina Sokolovskaya’s exhibition “House for Sale”/2019

Field recordings for Cynthia Madansky's film "Esther"/2019


Sound design for Anastasia Rebkalo's performance "Looking for Belle" / photo: A. Teplov / 2018


Uncapitals (Norway)/ work in residence on field recordings for video work in the framework of the study "Northern fragility"/2018

STRUCTURES FOR DANCERS WITH BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS/music - Marina Karpova, choreography - Anton Vdovichenko/2017

Sound design for the performance of the theater "Forest House" "The Mutual Responsibility"

Ballet "Background mode" / music and sound design - Marina Karpova, choreography - Anton Vdovichenko / photo: Ksenia Smirnova / 2016