Keep Yourself Clean
THE FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION BY VOLNA, PRESENTING A RECONSTRUCTION OF THE ART COLLECTIVE’S MAJOR WORKS FROM 2016 – PRESENT IN A VIRTUAL SPACE
The exhibition spaces and installations were created using video game development tools (Unreal Engine) that simulate real-time scenes and lighting effects. Exhibition visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the surroundings of each installation and can move freely in the room and choose any observation point.
The exhibition’s initiators and creators are VOLNA, an art collective from St. Petersburg, Russia. Since its formation in 2016, the group has dedicated itself to creating light art that incorporates interdisciplinary artistic practices and new technologies. The artists are known for their unusual exhibition formats, monumental installations and scenographic creations for the electronic music scene. Throughout its four years of existence, VOLNA has maintained financial and aesthetic independence by creating 17 light installations and over 30 stage designs for festivals and performances.
The following works were reconstructed for the exhibition: the audiovisual installations NEUBAU (2016), Powerline (2017) and Rotor (2018), the light installation Octave (2018), the installation Vague (2019), and two kinetic light installations, Duel (2019) and Nymphéas (2020).
Despite the site-specific nature of the works, the overarching artistic principle behind all of them is the search for a universal language of pure forms. These forms, which correspond to the abstract subjects of the installations, are refined freed of excessive details, minimalistic in their expressiveness and often even have a functional nature.
The primary expressive element in VOLNA's work is light and its various characteristics, its interaction with space, as well as its movement, the rhythm of chiaroscuro and the way chiaroscuro scenarios unfold in relation to time. Some works include synchronized sound, created to interact closely with the light’s dramaturgy. The virtual exhibition space itself is heterotopic and at the same time proportional to the original exhibition locations. The model exhibits displayed inside it are as close as possible to their real prototypes and preserve the original structural details, including the nature of the lighting and scenarios behind each of the live installations. The original sound design and ambient sound environments are reproduced, and each work’s context and theme are discussed in an accompanying text.
This online exhibition represents the first time VOLNA’s enthusiasm for pragmatic production processes has been reflected in a simulated world. For this reason, only works that were realized in the material world were selected for display. The exhibition is characterized by the presence of real space, living according to its own laws in another (virtual) space, as well as the merging of virtual and real spaces, a synthesis of various methods for transmitting information and their hypertextuality. As media historian Norbert Bolz once put it, in media reality “thematically structured visual worlds are supposed to bring a surreal condensation of the experience: more real than reality.”
Accepting this challenge, the exhibition Keep Yourself Clean attempts to embrace all the real and virtual layers of information that make up each of the works, and then let the works themselves become the determinants of perception. With their help, each of the contexts will “re-sort” in the virtual world, rethink and obey the laws of perception, and each work, in turn, will become an experience of sensory contemplation. We hope this experience will be personal and genuine for each viewer.
The exhibition has eight rooms you can navigate through using simple control commands. You can move from one room to its neighboring rooms and return to the entrance hall. You can access any of the seven exhibition rooms with installations from the entrance hall.
You can always get information about the installation you are viewing and choose from three languages (English, German, Russian). Using the QR-codes, you can find more information about the real-life installations, as well as download an exhibition catalogue in English or Russian, leave feedback in the guestbook and make a donation. Navigation is controlled with a mouse or trackpad and a keyboard. Tooltips for the control commands can always be found in the lower right corner of the screen.
VOLNA would very much like to accompany you personally on the exposition, but sadly we cannot see our online visitors. Therefore, we will be especially appreciative if you leave your feedback in the guestbook.
June 10 – July 20, 2020
Visiting the virtual exhibition is free and does not require registration, inputting personal data or installing any software. Mobile browsers are not supported. For the best experience, we recommend using the Chrome browser (desktop version).
Due to limitations in our cloud hosting services, you may have to wait for a game session to open up. Please be patient. Our servers are located in the EU, so you may experience lags and delays if you have slow internet connection.
If you have a relatively modern PC with 64-bit Windows 10 you can download an offline version of the exhibition via Itch.io
The VOLNA collective is grateful for your support. If you feel like making a donation, this will help us to cover the cost of cloud hosting services.
VOLNA: Nikita Golyshev, Snezhana Vinogradova, Yana Cheklina, Dmitri Gavkaliuk, Ekaterina Morzobitova, Alexey Beliakov
Proof readers: Martin Baumeister, William Cohen, Alexander Felch, Justina Fink
Back end and technical support: Kiberchaika
Video-teaser: Polina Korotaeva