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17.05.2022 – 29.07.2022

another leap of faith or two

Sid Iandovka and Anya Tsyrlina

“another leap of faith or two” is the first gallery show of Sid Iandovka and Anya Tsyrlina – maverick artist-duo whose practice extends across many different media, predominantly moving images. Coming out of the experimental music environment and early experiments with VJ’ing and new media, their work is saturated with the punk’s DIY attitude of sculpting the visuality, of triggering the border of real and irreal, of abstracting the narration to autonomous perception that results in a sort of “deformative improvisation” of visual/aural tracts. Thomas Zummer calls them ‘primitives’ or ‘outsiders’ whose works “distend, extend, transcend, disconfigure and reconfigure the very possibilities of moving images”.

The ‘filmic objects’ in “another leap of faith or two” (including recent works already screened in a cinema, as well as a new multi-screen installation) are centered in their earliest videos made in post-Soviet Siberia – layering previous intentions, personal story and history. The artists have referred to a ‘protoplasmic’ field of working, ongoing and extensive, out of which certain works are contingently and continuously derived.

“Sid and Anya make a window onto a world of magical melancholy, where they are able to combine scathing cynicism with cringeworthy humor, lyrical beauty, and cultural critique into one seething mass of fits and starts, along with protracted meditations on the ordinary, the sublime and the hollowness that penetrates a history and a society. They dance across dreams and nightmares that become dreams and nightmares again and again, – and at the same time show us how it’s being done. We literally see the machinery at work, the digital surface and interior that cycle through this performance of sadness and joy, so that the viewer has little to do but also see, to keep seeing, because there is always this divine instability, and that keeps things alive (L.T)”.

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Sid Iandovka and Anya Tsyrlina have collaborated (on and off) for almost thirty years—each being the other’s only audience—ultimately creating a joint, entirely independent, “homemade” production approach for their films. Their practice is not rooted in any state; it is immaterial and doesn’t benefit from any national/international funding, resources or structures. Similarly, their working methods are not products of any educational/professional institutions. The artists are cynical about any benefit that could come from their own personal biographies being spelled out in association with their work, and thus choose to limit this information, preferring for their own actions and words to remain in the background to let the work speak on its own. But it’s not essential to know the whys and hows of these works, since there’s an almost alchemical and mystical quality to them that supersedes their construction. (Herb Shellenberger, 2021, except)