En

Observer's invisible horizon

2017

Exhibition-research

Curator: Marina Pugina 

Photo: Ivan Kozlov

Visible horizon is a line where the sky meets the Earth’s surface, as well as all the visible space around the observer. In the context of the exhibition this concept took the form of a line-circle closely connected with the personal horizon and the inner perception of a place.
“Observer’s Invisible Horizon” is an attempt to go beyond the “visible”, through reconstruction of childhood memories about AN-2 flights, to present a story of how the aircraft had expanded the artist’s personal horizon by overcoming immeasurable territorial borders.


The exhibition passes formally through circles and lines, painting and graphics, author’s statements and installations, signs of time and and photographs from the personal archive: from the memories constructed by artistic images to the real documents.


The idea of the exhibition logically stems from the Route project created by Shchigalev in summer 2017 within the Perm Long Stories festival. On one of the concrete walls the artist visualized the map of memories about the way from his native village Ust-Chyornaya in Chusovaya. It was the first time he mentioned AN-2 in his work: “the airplane was like a bus… once me and my mom went to the hospital by airplane”. The artist continues using this principle of correspondence between the author’s text appearing at the exhibition walls with the objects — painting, graphics, installation — in the “Observer’s Horizon”.

The project consists of 4 parts, each of them presenting installations, graphics, paintings and found objects accompanied by the author’s texts. The exhibition features documentation of the research process that preceded the project, as well as the AN-2 tail stabilizer provided by the Perm Aviation Museum (authentic 7m long object without covering).

Room 1. Zero visibility.
 

Visibility refers to the degree of the atmosphere’s transparency characterized by the distance at which the object observed becomes invisible for the observer during day time. Visibility in flight is also determined by the conditions of observation from the aircraft, by the speed of its flight and characteristics of the pilot’s vision. There are no direct methods for measuring visibility.


The Noises installation is built around an old radio Ural-114. The player broadcasts audio interference occurring as the result of the tuning. Audio waves did not reach the place where the artist lived in his childhood. Hunting the sound was an exciting game with the two unknowns: who transmits these sounds through the blizzard and what do they mean?


Abstract graphics on diagram disks originally intended for fixing time in the artist’s work refers to the conventional space visible from the airplane’s windows. Real aircraft windows suspended at some distance from them obsessively remind of analogy with the real. In the place of vinyl disk graphics is rotated, and it is almost impossible to discern due to the dead loop effect, but if you take a photo, a sort of freeze frame, there is a chance to catch the moment and study it.

Room 2. Observer’s view.

The observer’s view always passes at a certain height above the Earth’s surface. The multitude of points of contact of the rays of vision with the Earth is a circle which is called the observer’s visible horizon.

A series of canvases framed on round stretchers forms the Reverse Frame cycle. Deformed and deliberately hyperbolized objects depicted on them represent the constructed images of the author’s intrusive memories associated with his first AN-2 flights. These are a hygienic plastic bag, a dashboard from the pilot’s cockpit, and luggage scales from the check-in desks.

Room 3. Visible Horizon.

The line where the sky merges with the Earth’s surface and all the visible space around the observer is called the visible horizon. Calculation of the visible horizon and the distance of the visibility depends on the height of the observer and the observed object.

A dynamic sculpture of aluminum grid is an abstract form of relief absolutely not tied to any terrain. By rotating and casting a shadow, it captures the viewer into a vortex of perpetual motion towards horizon. 

Room 4. Visibility range.

The distance at which the contours of the object become indistinguishable due to turbidity of the atmosphere is called visibility range. With fog, the visibility range is less than one kilometer, while in the clear Arctic air is it reaches hundreds. Often the visibility range is simply called visibility. 

The last room is a kind of result of a field research. It presents materials found during exhibition preparation: maps, books, models, photographies from the personal archives and from the Perm Aviation Museum, videos of the AN-2 flights voiced by eyewitnesses stories. It allows envisioning the part of the story that usually remains untold.

In the back of the room, the map of the local airlines of the Perm region marks the routes that the AN-2 once took, together with the landing areas and elevation height. This map was the starting point for the graphic works of the artist who was attracted by the geometry of space and the dynamics of flights.


A special place is occupied by the found archive exhibited on the basis of film frame by frame principle. It actualized the problem of relationship towards personal forgotten history.