Shafted represented the states of mind of Russian youth trapped in the concrete living blocks on the St. Petersburg outskirts and sought to provide an outlet from that state of mind. The film captures a brief episode of one such youth’s weekly routine and ends with ephemeral attempts to distract oneself from the influence of a harsh society.

The actors' weird dance movements in an abandoned elevator shaft reflect their effort to hide at the dark bottom, where, as if in some kind of ancient observatory, you can better see the light coming from above. This is the way of looking for the future when the present doesn’t affect you anymore. This is not a protest—it is a quest in search of a way out.

The film was shot during the The Biggest One party on January 1st, 2016 in the Vertical Gallery, whose atmosphere reminded us of the architecture and mood of the suburbs in many Russian and Eastern European cities. These are overwhelmingly gloomy places with monotonous and grey architecture, but at the same time they inspire mixed feelings of rejection and affection in people (like us) who grew up in such neighbourhoods.

These conflicted feelings served as a source of inspiration for the general mood and specific visual aesthetics of the NEUBAU installation (which was specially built for this exhibition and the party) as well as the New Year celebrations. With a nod to this, visitors were invited to bring in the new year on a stairway, reveling in the spirit and taste of the grim suburbs by drinking beer from huge plastic bottles and dancing under NEUBAU in the abandoned elevator shaft.


  • Concept, production and video: VOLNA
  • Camera: Artem Stepanov
  • Music: Paranoid London - Light Tunnel
  • Starring: Anton Vorobyev
  • © VOLNA (2016), Paranoid London (2015)
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