Schwarzwald is a light installation that was made as a part of the ПУСТ* project. The project reflects on events that took place on December 7–8, 1991, during which time the presidents of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus signed the Belavezha Accords, officially dissolving the Soviet Union.
The installation emphasizes the contrast between darkness and brightness, referring to the names of the last two primeval lowland forests in Europe – Schwarzwald (schwarz means black in German) and Belavezhskaya Puscha (Belavezha means white tower in Belarusian). It was inspired by the light that typically shimmers in the forest: Its glare takes on bizarre forms due to the rays that make their way through the leaves and branches, creating the sense of moving shadows and phantoms of forest creatures.
Together with the light installation, the interdisciplinary project included a contemporary dance performance, sound installation, objects and a multi-channel video that was made in the woods of the Belavezha Forest (Belarus) during the summer of 2017 and in Schwarzwald (Germany) during a residency at ZKM Karlsruhe in September 2016.
Schwarzwald acted as stand alone object during the exhibition, providing scenography for the performance and allowing visitors to enter the conditional forest. It consists of 50 vertical custom built steel structures with wi-fi controlled LED-strips distributed throughout the gallery space. Screens for multi-channel video were integrated into the installation.
ПУСТ* is the resulting project of the Interdisciplinary Laboratory – a large-scale project of Goethe-Institut Eastern Europe and Central Asia. It took place on November 23–26, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
Concept, production and video: VOLNA
Electronics assembly support: Nikita Savinyh
Camera: Polina Korotaeva, VOLNA
Photo: Valeriy Smirnov
Music: Lawrence English – “Watching It Unfold” from the album “A Colour For Autumn”
Project commissioned by Goethe-Institut
© VOLNA (2017), Lawrence English (2009)