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Fleisch. Exhibition

12:00–20:00 Pavilion

July 5–17, 12–8 p.m.

The human body is one of the main subjects for reflexivity in the history of culture. What is a body? Design, form, image? German philosopher Dietmar Kamper spoke of the body as the primary structure, which is the basis of everything that a human is. In the modern world, ideas about the body inevitably change and are constructed through fictional ideas: we are being peddled what our body should be, a certain model is imposed, fragile and temporary in its essence. Kamper believed that a person should stop looking at his body through abstract images and then he will be able to find himself again. Owing to the body we are able to distinguish the imaginary from the real through strong feelings (pain or fear) that affect the deep nature of a person. The body is the center of human life, it acts as the only support in the external physical reality.

Today, interest in the research of the body is significantly increasing. New scientific and technobiological studies that try to rediscover corporeality, but also various artistic projects appear in which the body is still the main tool for the artist. There is art that appeals to bodily experience and helps to understand, sometimes even experience, external reality, whatever it may be. An artist can use his body in different ways: as a manifesto, as a canvas, or as a political gesture, but most importantly, through his personal experience, the artist unveils a different, exceptional way of interacting with his own body and the outside world to the viewer.

Fleisch is a research on the limits of the human body and its potential by means of artistic language. The bodily experience is the cornerstone for all subsequent actions and decisions of a person. The exhibited creators explore their own body limits: some expand these limits using science and technology, others analyze bodily experience through painting and graphics. The interactive and immersive installations, wearable technologies, graphic works, video poetry and performances involved in the exposition contribute to the immersion of the viewer into the unique and deeply personal conditions of the creators, reflecting on the body in its various evocation.

All the works exhibited here are made by students, graduates and teachers of the ITMO National Research University.

The project was carried out as a part of the work experience internship within the Curatorial Studies Master’s program of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences of St. Petersburg State University. The heads of the team are Natalia Fedorova and Olesya Turkina.


Evgeny Khlopotov, Valentina Makarova, Vladislav Lapaev, Natalia Fedorova, Daria Evans, Ah Sasha, Katerina Muravyova, Peter Bardin, Daria Vysokova, Natalia Listomirova, Anastasia Zhilinskaya.


Evgenia Karakai, Nadezhda Koroleva, Maya Lungul

*[fleish] – body, flesh


Video, 3D animation

Author: Akh Sasha

The visual embodiment of the artist’s thoughts about a person, corporeality and feelings. Internet culture has invaded the zone of human sensuality and is transforming the concept of reality. Tenderness is a discussion about the search for the present in virtual worlds. Fixation of the feeling when instead of intimacy we get targeted ads, instead of life - a digital set of ready-made images. Or has digital already become a life for us?

Akh Sasha is a media artist, master of the Art & Science program at ITMO University, using painting, graphics, digital art, video and installation.


Sound installation

Author: Anastasia Zhilinskaya

The sound composition, consisting of live sounds of the human body: heartbeat, breathing, knees and wrists joints crunching, blood flow were recorded using condenser and contact microphones. Numerous repetitions and an echo effect applied to the recordings of the joints create a confused rhythm, in some places turning the sounds into something slimy, quickly moving between dense columns of deep breathing. Anxiety about her physicality, the feeling of her organs and their work, as well as the horror of realizing herself in a body, wet, creaky and pulsating, accompanied the artist when creating the work.

Anastasia Zhilinskaya is a multimedia artist working with video and sound. Student of the Rodchenko School.


Acrylic, acrylic paste, epoxy, electronic devices: rangefinder sensor, address led strip, WeMos D1 mini board on esp8266 microcontroller

Author: Vysokova Daria

An interactive work that can get in touch with the viewer. The bodily boundaries of each person have a different range: for some, close bodily contact is an acceptable form of communication, while others, on the contrary, turn on all their defense mechanisms in order to prevent the “stranger” from entering their space. The work of the artist builds her personal boundary of communication, giving the viewer a choice: to expand their own boundaries of perception, overcome discomfort, or step back, succumbing to the imposed fear of being misunderstood and rejected.

Daria Vysokova is an engineer, artist, master of the Art & Science program at ITMO University, winner of the FSI R&D grant competition.


Mechanical design

Authors: Daria Vysokova, Anastasia Kovaleva

Eco-leather-covered mechanical design that mimics the movement of a wave. Under a strong wind, the ripples on the water become similar to keratinized human skin. The modern world is rapidly layering on the “skin” of water an artificially created “clothes” — plastic. Pollution of the natural environment of the planet with plastic waste is the destructive trace of a human that has already become an integral part of our ecosystem. The glow that is demonstrated in the work is a metaphor for the veins hidden under the “watery” skin. Each shade of light symbolizes a certain disease or catastrophe caused on our planet.

Daria Vysokova is an engineer, artist, master of the Art & Science program at ITMO University, winner of the FSI R&D grant competition.

Anastasia Kovaleva is an interdisciplinary artist, master of the Art & Science program at ITMO University. 


VR-space of a city-body built on models of human scent molecules, 3d reconstructions of defective fragments of Google maps

Author: Daria Ivans

A virtual installation that allows you to become part of a fictional city consisting of human scent molecules, 3D reconstructions of defective fragments of Google maps and other remains of civilization. The work immerses the viewer into the atmosphere of an extinct space, in which only olfactory memories of a person remain. The artist transforms these smells into visible forms that fill this city and become new bodies.

Daria Ivans is an artist, master student of Art & Science (ITMO). Works with 3D graphics, video art, augmented reality.

02:00. CHOICE 

Wearable device, video documentation

Author: Evgeny Khlopotov

“You technically have two minutes to live, but with every breath you renew the timer.” A wearable device that captures a person's breath and sets a timer for two minutes. During this time, a person needs to make a choice: to breathe further or not. With each breath, the lifetime timer is reset, but if you hold your breath, it will go up to two minutes. The average person with untrained lungs may not breathe for 1,5-2 minutes, further holding the breath leads to dizziness and loss of consciousness. The sensations of a person who does not take a new breath are similar to the sensations of approaching death. It was the fear of death experienced by the artist at a certain stage of his life that led him to the idea of creating a device that allows him to control the time allotted to a person. Every second, unconsciously or consciously, there is a choice in favor of life or death.

Evgeny Khlopotov is a multimedia artist and curator. Student of the Art & Science master’s program (ITMO)



Authors: Katerina Muravyova, Peter Bardin

Textured fabric, created in cooperation with the bees. The project tells about the search for self-identity, a return to the roots and the creation of sacred images of the “new religiosity” as the ability to see the sacred within oneself. Artists use artifacts found in the village at the bee apiary of their grandfather, which become the main art objects and are compared with icon-like messages, some miraculous shrouds. These aged pieces of fabric are more than one decade old, they capture the history of the author’s; family. As a result of the interaction of bees with the material, the fabric began to resemble human skin. Through visual, tactile and olfactory interaction with artifacts, the “bodily” boundaries of a person expand, and we can feel like a physical continuation of this natural skin.

Katerina Muravieva is a multimedia artist, designer, graduate of the GHPA named after Stieglitz, Master of Art & Science program at ITMO University. In her artistic practice, Katerina boldly combines classical and new media, creating art projects at the intersection of trends.

Petr Bardin is a physicist, engineer, programmer. Engaged in Artificial Intelligence, MachineLeaing, DeepLearning, Computer Vision and BigData, development of software and hardware solutions. Creates high-tech installations. Participant of international competitions and festivals of contemporary art.


Performance, virtual reality, video art, physical installation-mechanism

Author: LAPA Vlad 

In collaboration with: Alexander Shchegolkov — artist; Alex Ko — artist; Ernest Saron — 3D visualizer; Benoit Musche — composer; Tanya Tita — designer

An initiation in which a person experiences his own burial. With the help of virtual reality technologies, the mysterious area of human interaction with his death is recreated. As part of the creation of the project, a performance was held with the personal funeral of the artist, which was recorded on a 360-degree camera. As a result of this experience, a controlled mechanism was created that lowers and raises the coffin from a vertical to a horizontal position, as well as a piece of music and generative animation were written, where the soul travels through virtual spaces based on the ancient text of the Tibetan Book of the Dead or Bardo Thodol, to gain new life, renewal.

Lapa Vlad is a director, artist, master student of the ITMO Art & Science program, curator of the ARTLAB Quantorium, curator of a filmmaking course.


Installation, diary entries

Author: Valentina Makarova

A documented experience shared by the artist with the mycelium of the Imperial Oyster mushroom. The mycelium was grown in the ITMO laboratory, carefully transplanted into a container, and after growing it was transferred to the artist's house and sheltered in her own isolated aquarium. While living together with the mushroom, the artist began to keep a diary in which she recorded all her feelings and thoughts.

“At first there was anxiety and sensitivity, pushing to fix what was happening; then there was a forgetfulness equivalent to comfort and resignation; what will happen next is not so easy to guess. Only the smell creeps into my dreams and my body serves the circumstances of the fungus; I get up and carry a large tub of boiled sawdust; I shelter, wrap the synthetic house of a plastic container from the bright sun; I look at my pseudo-stone house, echoing the square of the container; I’m trying to find a forest for us, or rather, I’m trying my best to find an escapist practice suitable for the occasion, mutually beautiful”

The narration of several months of living together with the mycelium of the fungus revealed the main method of co-presence as lethargic, weaving with hyphae1 into the routine and banality of every day, shrouding every household breath with sporangia2.

Valentina Makarova is an artist, founder of the Mycelium online collective, co-curator of the Calculation project, a graduate of the Iosif Bakshtein Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA).

1. Threads of mycelium — the roots of the fungus

2. The organ of the fungus in which spore formation occurs


TW: self-harm

Diptych, watercolor paper, ink, markers

Author: Natalia Listomirova

The diptych was created by the artist on the basis of awareness of her own bodily boundaries through the pain inflicted by her own hands. One of the responses to shock is uncontrolled self-harm. The left side of the diptych represents getting rid of the eyes, a fragile instrument that connects a person and visual reality. The right side is a bright feeling, which, growing, can turn into an all-consuming monster. Pomegranate as a symbol of life and eternal love. But love is deadly. And at times, feelings absorb the human essence so much that they break through the bodily shell, distorting and reacting with the surrounding space.

Natalia Listomirova is an artist with a master’s degree in the Art & Science program at ITMO University, who is looking for an opportunity to convey the emotional perception of reality, her own cultural identity, and the inseparable connection between the past and the present through her works.


Video performance

Author: Natalia Fedorova

Score for performance, consisting of poetic text and gestures. The text is assembled from phrases found in the speech of other people. Patchwork of writing means the helplessness and openness of linguistic communication. Gestures are needed in order to overcome this helplessness and create a more universal sign system. Video is part of a performance in which gestures are repeated by the artist or other project participants. The specificity of the video is that it becomes a time marker: the real artist gradually ages, while the woman in the video remains just as young.

Natalia Fedorova is an artist, researcher in the history and philosophy of technology, curator. Co-founder of the media poetry group Machine Libertine (together with Taras Mashtalir). Curator of the Media Poetry Festival 101

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