Sid Iandovka

Thousandsuns
Cinema

Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina are an artist duo whose practice extends across many different media, predominantly moving images. Though only selected works of theirs are co-authored in a traditional sense, they have collaborated (on and off) for almost thirty years, 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. The foundations of their work and sensibility can be traced back to the context of their formative years, when they met as teenagers playing experimental noise in their hometown in Siberia. This music practice morphed into experiments with VJing and new media, with the same sense of punk’s DIY spirit taken up in their practice of recording, manipulating, cutting together, and fucking with moving images, ranging from analog video to crazy CGI. Recently, their films have been screened at festivals including Art of the Real, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, European Film Festival Palić, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, and Viennale. 

AS YET UNTITLED: FIVE FILMS BY SID IANDOVKA & ANYA TSYRLINA.

SCREENING DATES: May 20 – June 10, 2021 (All Other Things Equal ends May 31)

FILMS IN THIS PROGRAM: Live the Life You LOVE, 6 min, 2019; Peter the Wolf, 7 min, 2000–03; 193 Octillion, 1 min, 2019; (e)scape goat, 7 min, 2020; All Other Things Equal, 20 min, 2020

*Curated by Herb Shellenberger. 


Live the Life You LOVE, 6 min, 2019

For just six minutes, Live the Life You LOVE simmers with mood, motion, and music, threatening to boil over at any moment. This orgiastic, spontaneous dance performance is slowed from its real-time speed, with eerily alluring distortions and ghosting images contributing to the otherworldly atmosphere of this extraordinary, jocular scene. Its soundtrack is comprised of a subterranean, abstract electronic composition by Iandovka that recalls the glitchier moments of One Nation-era Hype Williams. As the crowd on the Coney Island boardwalk calmly looks on, we too witness the impromptu dancers — at turns joyful, serene, and stoic — unselfconsciously expressing themselves through motion. This elegantly captured feedback loop — between the filmmaker’s camera and viewers also recording — only serves to accentuate the expanded circularity of this beautifully fleeting moment. – Herb Shellenberger

Peter the Wolf, 7 min, 2000–03

Perhaps the spiritual prequel to Live the Life You LOVE, Peter the Wolf is one of the earliest extant video works by Iandovka & Tsyrlina. Featuring footage shot during a spontaneous trip to the first Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000, the filmmakers’ voyeuristic camerawork drinks in the scene, alternating between close-ups and wide shots of unaware partygoers and police monitoring the proceedings. Besides the obvious differences between the two works — the Y2K-era ravewear and the absence of phones — Peter the Wolf utilizes music to similarly displace the visuals from mere reportage. In this case, the video’s 8-bit soundtrack was recorded from a group jam session on hacked Nintendos. The gaiety and nostalgia in our contemporary viewing of this dawn-of-the-millennium happening is tempered by the suggestion of surveillance in the camera’s perspective, induced more explicitly by the brief shot of satellite dishes and radio aerials in the film’s final seconds. – Herb Shellenberger

193 Octillion, 1 min, 2019

Conceived and completed in a single day, 193 Octillion presents an enigmatic sequence of film frames divined from the psychic archive of the late Soviet era. This miraculous feat of mental dexterity serves as a reminder of the early years of perestroika, when these types of clairvoyant activities merged with the final flickers of a particular aesthetic of visual memory: the last days of newsreels shot on celluloid. – Herb Shellenberger

(e)scape goat, 7 min, 2020

(e)scape goat represents one direction Iandovka’s work has taken over the past few years, as he started to incorporate his own animations together with advanced forms of CGI when upgrades in technology made it possible to do this work on basic home equipment. Merging, melding, mixing, and manipulation of images results in uncanny plays of scale and size, quasi-Surrealist detournement of objects and bodies, or otherwise the crafting of unfamiliar environs. This quietly unassuming film is a sonic and visual collage of surprising depth, leaving the viewer uncertain of any structuring logic or progression. – Herb Shellenberger

All Other Things Equal, 20 min, 2020

Crafting fairytale fiction from documentary-style late-Soviet propaganda, All Other Things Equal is a hypnotic and sensual work of detournement with construction atypical of compilation films. Resisting essayistic meaning, the film instead presents a series of stacked moments that are elliptical, sensory, and quietly subversive in picturing a world populated wholly by women. The polar opposite of didactic, All Other Things Equal instead embraces the extra-symbolic and extra-textual elements of these images and the spectral montage of their arrangement, constructing a world which does not map easily onto the contemporary notions and stakes of Western feminism. – Herb Shellenberger

As Yet Untitled: A Dossier on Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina > link here

This is the first solo exhibition of Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina, curated by Herb Shellenberger. The moving image program is accompanied by the online publication As Yet Untitled: A Dossier on Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina, featuring writing, sound, images, documentation, and additional moving image works by this artist duo at Three Fold Press. 

In his brilliant exegesis on the work of Sid Iandovka & Anya Tsyrlina, published for the first time in this dossier, philosopher Thomas Zummer writes that the artists “let an image, whatever it might be, just be what it is… without being inscribed into a regime of sense that further violates or tethers it to a foreignness that is not its own.” When you have the opportunity to actually see the works of this duo, I hope you immediately recognize the importance of approaching any particular image as it is, rather than holding it within any existing frame of reference you might be familiar with. This is the best and most generous approach that viewers can give these artists’ work, and in return we will be rewarded with experiences that are stimulatingly unfamiliar and richly satisfying. – Herb Shellenberger

All stills, photographs, and artwork courtesy ©Sid landovka & Anya Tsyrlina

As Yet Untitled is co-presented with Three Fold Press.