Princess Nocturne

2016, Video installation. 6’00’’.

Video — Tanya Akhmetgalieva.

Sound — Viktor Mazin.

Text — Victor Mazin & Tanya Akhmetgalieva.

2016 — The exhibition ‘House of Impressions.
Classic and Contemporary Media Art’ in The Framework of the Summer Program of the Pushkin Museum Quarter and my.com, Moscow.

Hope is the most sensitive part of an unfortunate soul — ‘hoping’ means indulging in torture, acting like butchers in hell who constantly pick open old wounds

— Donasen Alphonse Francois de Sade

‘Princess Nocturne’ is video installation in memory of Princess Avdotya Golitsina, who once lived in this Manor. After hearing a fortune teller’s prediction that she would die in her sleep, the princess refused to sleep at night, and for this she was nicknamed the Princess Nocturne.

Wishing to avoid her fate, rather than sleeping, she spent the night doing household chores, receiving guests, arranging literary salons and engaing in heated discussions.

This video installation was created specifically for this old ceiling, upon which Princess Nocturne might have gazed throughout her sleepless nights.

The geometric lines of the ceiling echo the geometry of the fragments of garden projected upon it — the projected garden scene is a view visible from the balcony of the room.

The Princess’s gaze — filled with an irrational fear of death — moves to the sky, rushes up to the ceiling, and lingers on it, revealing a composition of an orderly, regular garden.

A kaleidoscope of poignant images of specific digital frescoes passes through time, submerging us in the depths of our own memories and feelings.

In the works of Tatiana Akhmetgalieva the world appears distorted — as if it has been ruthlessly retransmitted through colour-filters.

With her use of extremely bright colours, deformation and loss of pixels, Akhmetgalieva tells the story of the complex relationship of modern man with reality; of his estrangement from the surrounding world and himself.

Photographer — Dmitriy Shishkin

VIKTOR MAZIN

is a visual culture theorist and curator, psychoanalyst, teacher and founder of the Freud Museum of Dreams (1999). He is also an hon- orary member of the council of The Museum of Jurassic Technology (Los Angeles).

In recent years, he has been occupied with the creation of inter-media lectures and with the composition of music.

A note on the door is a sign that it’s time to flee.

Look, these regular shapes soften their outlines and have a second, barely visible layer. I always thought that all the people are exactly what they see.

— Princess Nocturne

Maybe it’s not all yours? Perhaps the destruction is what you are striving for? It is your truth? Wait, where are you going? ...

— Princess Nocturne

PRINCESS NOCTURNE’S CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE OF IMPRESSIONS

PRINCESS NOCTURNE’S CONVERSATIONS WITH THE GHOSTS IN THE HOUSE OF IMPRESSIONS

Voices:

P.N. — Princess Nocturne

E II — Catherine II

F. — Fate

F.T.M.L. — The fortune teller Marie Anne Lenorman

A.S.P. — Alexander Sergeevitch Pushkin

D.A.F.d.S. — Donasen Alphonse Francois de Sade

P. — Plato

 

1

[The road to yourself through doors leading from Nowhere to Nowhere]

P.N. — Well, which of the roads leads to yourself?

E II — Which of them does not lead to yourself? In this house there are too many doors, I ordered half of them to be hidden, as if they had never existed at all… And what if at least behind one of them there’s nothing at all?

[The hinges of escape from destiny]

P.N. — This is a sign of destiny…

F. — The signs of destiny are not mine, they are yours. They are a dislocation

of your shattered soul. Day and night on the hinges of a door.

P.N. — A note on the door is a sign that it’s time to flee.

F. — I’m not there, from where are you running, and there, where you’re going. Wherever you might run … day or night …

 

3

[Faith is inclined to predictions]

P.N. — How can I not believe that I’m not going to die in my sleep, at night? It would seem that there’s nothing terrible in that kind of death, except for the fact that death itself is terrible… (puzzled) What’s it like, beyond that door? Is there nothing there?

F.T.M.L. — (whispers) I seal the future … your faith closes the door behind it. Do you think that your faith in predictions is my affair? Well, I do not.

Your faith rests on the faith of others. You cannot not believe, supposing that others believe.

P.N. — The ghosts with whom we speak — are they messengers of the night world, or a figment of my imagination?

F.T.M.L. — (whispers) They are the witnesses of faith.

4

[Fate swerves from the course of fate ]

P.N. — Yes, I want to leave you, Fate, to evade your steady course.

F. —Well, how are you going to swerve from what is always and already a swerve? (With a smile) Can you really achieve it by simply switching day and night?

 

5

[Passion against one’s will]

P.N. — Am I really at liberty in the face of Death? Is this face not my charm?

Does it leave me freedom of choice?

A.S.P. —

So, I used to sing

A dream of wonderful freedom and breathed it in sweetly.

But it is you I see, you that I heed, and what?… A weak man!..

My freedom lost forever,

my heart adores this captivity.

6

[A garden of hope on the ceiling]

P.N. — Without getting out of bed, I’m at liberty to be in the garden, just by looking up.

D.A.F.d.S. — The earth in the sky. A garden? Of Eden… upside down. Hell. (The echo repeats, growing fainter: Hell, hell…)

P.N. — I am not giving up hope…

D.A.F.d.S. — Hope is the most sensitive part of an unfortunate soul — ‘hoping’ means indulging in torture, acting like butchers in hell who constantly pick open old wounds.

7

[Geometry is a guide for truth]

P.N. — Look, these regular shapes soften their outlines and have a second, barely visible layer. I always thought that all the people are exactly what they see.

P. — These forms are your mind. See how they bloom. As they pull your mind to madness.

P.N . — But you said yourself that the geometry pulls the soul to truth and influences philosophical thought. Can it be that your invisible presence does not signify in the place of philosophy?

8

[Ananke’s spindle through the eyes of Er]

P. — I want to tell you about a soldier named Er, who rose from the dead on the twelfth day and told me about his visions. Upon leaving his body, he faced four chasms — two in the ground and two in the sky. The souls of righteous people moved to the right and the unworthy souls floated to the left. People came in through the two holes in the heavens and exited from from the two in the earth.

P.N. — I see scattering rectangles on the ceiling. Gaps. Circles. The circle is spinning.

P. — Ananke’s spindle rotates in front of Er’s eyes. The Sirens and Moirai spin.

9

[Leaving the house of impressions] a conversation with herself

P.N. — Maybe it’s not all yours? Perhaps the destruction is what you are striving for? It is your truth? Wait, where are you going? …

P.N. — … (Unintelligible noise, interference, the line breaks) …

Exhibition Curator — Olga Shishko

Exhibition Producer — Elena Rumyantseva.

Executive Producer — Varvara Melekestseva.

Sound — Victor Mazin.

Photos — Tanya Akhmetgalieva, Dmitriy Shishkin.

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tanya akhmetgalieva
tanya akhmetgalieva