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The Scan series reflects the difference between Russian and American social culture through a mass carnival procession. VR-installation 360 of Klaxon explores the theme of female and African-American identity, creating a poetic allegory of bifurcated consciousness in the context of the social situation in the United States.
In the Scan project the artist Nikita Shokhov goes beyond the boundaries of traditional "direct" photography, but still remains in the field of documentary. In 2013-2016 experiments with scanning techniques initiated his visit to mass and carnival processions in different cities of Russia and the USA. Mardi Gras in New Orleans, St. Patrick's Day in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C. are presented in one series together with the Victory Parade and the March of Communists in Moscow and the Procession of the Cross in the Kirov region. The national and cultural traditions of building a procession are noticeably different between the two countries, but the social function of mass events seems to meet the demands of ideology.
The brightest processions in both Russia and the USA support the dominant national idea and policy. In Russia, they are associated with religion and the tragedy of historical memory, while in the U.S., on the contrary, the brightest events are echoes of carnival, which lost its original purpose, formed in ancient and medieval times in a situation of total fear. Now, as we see, in addition to supporting ideology and cultural traditions, their function has been transformed into a means of attracting tourism and promoting brands.
Scanning technology has the ability to document 40 seconds of reality in a single photo, allowing movable objects - machines, people - to make a specific effect of plastic deformation. Such subjectivity of the gaze allowed by the author corresponds to the spirit of photography in the epoch of "post truth".
The VR-installation of the film by Klaxon is a laboratory for understanding the Other. It is a VR 360 experience that uses a spherical image to trace the process of awareness of the "self" in contemporary American society from the perspective of the human being from outside. Nikita Shokhov and Anna Evtiugina work on the project with a team of American and Russian artists and philosophers to engage the audience in an intercultural dialogue.
The experience gained by the audience in this project is a journey through the mind of the main character - a dark-skinned woman played by several actresses of different ages and races. Thanks to symbolism and metaphorical language, the viewer has the opportunity to contemplate the innermost memories of the heroine and the work of the mind in the process of becoming her true essence.
Spherical visual experience allows the viewer to closely observe the main character, who is aware of the emptiness of the concept of "I", which exists only in terms of others and during interaction with the "Other". The project is aimed at people from different cultures to draw attention to the importance of understanding each other.
Nikita Shokhov (1988, Kamensk-Uralsky) is a visual artist and film-maker who works in Russia and the USA. He studied at the California Institute of Art (Los Angeles) and the Rodchenko School (Moscow). Working with XR, video and photography, Shokhov focuses on the duality of human nature: body and mind, science and religion, sexuality and politics. He is the winner of World Press Photo. Video and performance shows took place at the Redcat theatre (USA), CalArts Digital Expo (USA), CYFEST (USA, Russia), ArtDocFest (Russia). Recent exhibitions include Anhydrite Biennale (Germany), exhibition of finalists of Nova Art (Russia), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Russia), Watermill Center (USA), GRAD Gallery (Great Britain), 5th Photoquai Biennale (France), Manifesta 10 and 6th Moscow Biennale of Modern Art. Publications appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Interview, Harper's Bazaar Art, L'Express, Courrier International, IL, China Newsweek, L'Insense Photo, Calvert Journal, Kommersant.
Anna Evtiugina is a producer, curator of contemporary art. Award winner of the Fulbright and Edmund Muskie programs. Her professional experience includes work at Residency Unlimited New York, San Jose Museum of Art, Seattle Opera, Pictura Gallery, Gallery of Iraq. Anna Yevtyugina was the initiator and curator of the project "The Art of Becoming Black in America" at Indiana University; assistant curator of the exhibition "Roberto Matta and the Fourth Dimension" at the State Hermitage Museum; co-curator of the exhibition "The Last March" at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Co-Founder of iPureland is a creative studio located in New York, which provides curatorial and production services and develops collaborations between art and business.