• Chernyshev & Efimov
  • CoMutation
  • V.Efimov and A.Chernyshev
    Interactive video installation, 2005

    Here, the "primary forms" on which the mutation takes place are the artists' bodies as in their previous installations. This time the artists are projected standing up on one of the gallery walls. As expected, they are dressed in their conventional "uniform"(black trousers and white shirts) stressing the "ordinary man" status of the personages on the wall. The audience interacts with these "clerks" through a switchboard located in the middle of the gallery. Having 24 plugs and 12 sockets, viewers can voluntarily plug any jack in any socket and either Chernyshev or Efimov will mutate: whole body or parts of it will be stretched and deformed. Visually, these misshapen figures are a reference to Wolf Vostell and Nam June Paik's works of the late 1950-es - early 1960-es with switches and magnets to manipulate broadcasted images. You can almost feel the physical presence of machine: the lifelike switchboard, the computer, the projector mark the role of technology (read it, science) in art. Science is a direct reference to the Enlightenment, and the faith in technological progress. However, this installation proves to be closer to the Romanticism since the result appears to be more an introspective quest than an objective analysis. Also, not always the action of plugging the jack triggers a mutation. Sometimes nothing happens. This might suggest a fault in the functioning of the machine, a broken ring in the chain of evolution. (A. Geusa)