“Ghost Development” was an intimate, participatory lecture/performance by Yelena Zhelezov recently performed this month at The Fowler Museum at UCLA in Los Angeles. The performance uses sugar cubes, utopian architecture, gif animation, miniature objects, and interpretive cooking to negotiate Zhelezov’s personal relationship—as an artist who lives in Los Angeles but was born in the former Soviet Union—to the symbolic values of the former Yugoslavia’s socialist monuments. The multimedia presentation will also explore Moscow and Los Angeles as centers of image production.
Here is post-experience thoughts and note to the artist:
it began with a roar of laughter, you offered me broccoli. if life could just be a roll of jokes and roars of laughter i think that might be suffice. but then you bring it song, sweet delicate songs your voice sings. you never speak to us. you hold your powers from the audience. letting them come out in other ways, perhaps more subconscious of means. you write your messages on the projector, as if teaching us lessons we could never learn, things that you don’t quite make sense to you through memory but align somehow in fact. you dive us into past, into culture, through the miniaturization and enlargement of scales. how quickly we traverse through things today, and how to truly make sense of it all always baffles me. the poetics always make the most sense. the vignettes to tell us pieces of the puzzle and somehow leads us to the whole. the model. the new. moscow. your voice transcended into this varying modes of gestures as you brought us back into the present, took us into los angeles, into our heads, back into the awareness of the room we were sitting in, the chairs we were present in. all that happens in room A126 or what is it A129 or was it any of that at all? Perhaps I dreamed the whole thing up as I was sitting on that hovering concrete bench embedded in between the might pines, which as noted with the engraving on the bench as ‘The Tress of 1930’. The fine lines of dreams and reality and when we mince them into a concoction speaking eloquence and truth and when the art sends us to dream, then isnt that one of the highest accomplishes in itself? to simply let others dream, to help them dream, to present them with new dreams. i dont think a dream here can be synonymous for story. there is something unattainable, uncontrolling about the dream, that reaches us and grips on to us deep beyond our control that screams of powers unknown.
-Brigitte Nicole Grice
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