ponedjeljak, 29. svibnja 2017.

Chernukha - Russian Necrorealism

Image result for Evgenii Iufit

Rusija 1980-ih: Černobil postojanja.

Evgenii Iufit, Aleynikov brothers, Boris Youkhananov, Debil Kondratiev

It’s almost a buzz to type something into Wikipedia these days and find that your search yields no information whatsoever, bar a slightly bewildered auto-reply: Did you mean neorealism? No, not quite: necrorealism.
The slightly grandiose, academic name belies the fact that the movement was actually a small group of experimental-artists from Leningrad (now St Petersburg) who emerged in the 80s under the leadership of the artist/experimental filmmaker, Evgeny Yufit.
Having got their hands on a lavishly illustrated forensic pathology textbook for inspiration, their initial output was comprised of photos of themselves in zombiesque make-up. Then followed performances – recreations of violent deaths using a crash test dummy, a series of brutal-looking staged fights and sadistic torture scenes in suburban forests, abandoned construction sites and in the carriages of suburban trains – events that passersby or passengers were guaranteed to observe with horror. Later they began to use film as medium, and established an underground film studio.
Necrorealism was born out of social protest, a love of excess and black humor. The idea behind it was an interrogation of social beliefs and the glorified Soviet notion of a heroic ultimate sacrifice – ‘death in the name of the Motherland’ – they aimed to subvert the state ideology, and the deification of public figures (just think of Lenin’s embalmed corpse). Instead, they tried to present death in all its horror, absurdity and baseness.
Under perestroika in the 1990s, some necrorealist works were shown in the West. More recently, the majority of these works were shown in London. Now all four floors of the Moscow Museum of Contemporary Art in Ermolayevsky Lane have been devoted to a necrorealist retrospective as part of the fourth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.
The stairways of the museum are adorned with vivid, enlarged pictures from the same pathology textbook that so inspired the group. Stylistically, the work and individual approaches are quite disparate. There is a mix of meticulous charts and diagrams explaining the precepts of necrorealism, then large format photographs, some installations, plus a lot of hulking, expressive paintings rendered in a naive or ‘outsider’ style. There are copious quantities of swords, spears and lots of flesh being pierced. It’s almost like looking at the margin in some 14 year old boy’s textbook. Then there are also Yufit’s b&w films, which are projected onto the walls. - http://nonewenemies.net/2011/10/19/necroreality-and-the-eternal-death/

A half naked man builds a wooden swinging hammock and tethers it under tension to a tree. He lies down on it and cuts the tethering rope. The hammock hurtles towards a tree trunk. His head is smashed.
A young boy runs through woodland to a corpse that is half lying in a lake, the boy pushes the corpse in fully and only the boy's head can be seen.
A woman walks slowly through the woodland swinging a pail of water in her wake. Her feet become trapped in a scrambled mass of wire, and she falls. Her head smashes against a rock and a blood curdling clanging of a bell is heard.
Wanton cruelty and murder
These are scenes from a series of films by Russian necrorealist film maker, Evgenii Iufit's. Necrorealism was founded in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, in the 1980s. At this time, Iufit was a student at a Leningrad technical institute and had begun to develop an interest in art and cinema. But film making was controlled by the state via the official cinema organisation, Goskino, and made no room for alternative styles--thus necrorealism was born as an underground movement.
The filmmakers had no money and had to improvise by using crude equipment, despite this, they became united in their stride to create a new genre of film. The ethos of the movement has been described as "an exploration of the liminal state between life and death, in which crazed zombies wander apocalyptic landscapes and commit acts of wanton cruelty, homosexual violence, and murder."1 Iufit's work in particular is characterised by homoeroticism and a blend of black humour and slapstick comedy. - Iles, Andrew.

The Bioaesthetics of Evgenii Iufit

Evgenii Iufit, Bipedalism [Priamokhozhdenie] (2005)

Germinal Death or the Mistmare.
Such an epidemic plague infesting and totally anonymizing death is one of the main traces investigated by the contemporary Russian necrorealist cinema known as Chernukha (blackness), mainly founded by the directors such as Evgenii Iufit, the Aleynikov brothers, Boris Youkhananov, Debil Kondratiev, et al. A radical movement started in Leningrad mainly with an inclination primarily toward the underground counter-culture of the mid 80s in Russia. The desolated landscapes of economic meltdown, lack of horror cinema or a science-fictional future in the collapsing Soviet Union and the Post-Soviet era, intense strife between the necroeconomic terror of survival economy and horror of life, collapse of thermoeconomical markets, and finally, cold-melt process of the necrocratic institutions, all have composed a web of netting heterogeneities, unnatural, unlocalizable and chronologically discontemporized to all politico-economic terrors in recent decades or a dystopian future; in one word, rendering a chaotic geography so terminal that any occidental / oriental discontaminating cultural, economic or social solution has been proved both inapplicable and dangerous not for Russian anonymous labyrinths but for the Eastern and Western countries themselves. Encountered with such an ample pestilential opportunity, the Russian artists started to investigate how the necrocratic regimes rot and their power formations are ungrounded within the shell of institutions, architectonic solids and political survivals but in fact exterior to them; how solidity is not wiped out and sucked into Zero but necrotized and softened to no end, shatters on the virtual surfaces of Zero without being sucked by its vortices, making its own economic grund, a (un)grund whose tectonic expansion is the Zero itself (p/0); and how masculinity does not take the voyage of becoming-woman as its space of becoming but bites itself, appearing as the extreme homophobic/erotic irony of the impossibility of any final deliverance one can anticipate as the satisfying end of masculinity; however, considering and charting all these not as the illustrations of life emptiness (a survivalist or absurdist approach) or mortification as a collective response to social disorders and the problem of subjectivity (a crisis-based reaction), but affirmation (acting as companion) of a non-survival-supporting life whose tentacles crack death open merely as a collective perversion, a philia, which progressively disterminalizes as the end of all becomings or the terminus ad quem of becomings; and is transmuted to a collapsing expanse exhumed, deflowered and scavenged by life (non-survivalist life: unlife), its netting, mazing and bonding philia: a space of becomings, so contagious and epidemic, which as Nick Land puts it, is a "Pest" [9], a "meltdown plague" [10] (similar to Chernobyl Chinese syndrome) which does not serve the fluxional faith of the flux (becoming as fluvius) or pseudo-theological becoming (an unconventionally reductionist and characteristic, Eigentümlichkeit, becoming that is pregnant of some kind of stealth negativity) which Catherine Malabou suspects about Deleuzian becoming [11], but a terminal multiplicity in the form of evaporation, a GAS-becoming where molecules do not play the role of constituting or designing agents of flux-movements any longer; they become the pestilential ungrounding forces, the surface-consuming plagues; whatever they do is ungrounding (exhumation: ex + humus: ground), irreparable and undoable; each molecule becomes a miniature of a mazing earthquake. Such evaporations (Gas-becomings) and ungrounding / anonymizing becomings do not depict a "pure insertion into the cycle of metamorphoses" [12] that rummages through the stealth circulations of pseudo-flux (where flow is appropriated by grund) to locate its temporary (transient) and dynamically appropriated Utopias (the stages or expressions of metamorphing process); for meta-morphosis expresses a movement which, temporarily and dynamically, is appropriated by the ground it traverses to generate a fully dynamic and somehow unlocalizable formation; a non-institutionalized movement but a messenger of grund, a movement forced to transport a form-ation (morphosis), to express the ground dynamically, to disseminate the regulations of ground like fluvial / alluvial processes, irrigation systems fertilizing the ground and hydraulic architectures (as the State war-machines) which Wittfogel investigated in his Oriental Despotism: a Comparative Study of Total Power (1963). In Chernukha, as through the anonymous and undomesticated horizon of Russia with its vertiginous simplicity (or as Sergei Medvedev suggests The North or The_Blank_Space [13]), death as a terminal expanse of coldness and a part of desiring-machine is messed up through the pestilential and wasteful (exorbitant) bonds of epidemic life (philia) which frantically composes new strategies of 'openness to everything' -- by means of its ungrounding strategies, bonds of philia and affirmation -- not merely openness as the plane of being open but rather being lacerated, cracked, butchered and laid open ... then, sewing and scavenging what have been opened through the bonds of philia and the interphyletic labyrinths of life through which becoming runs as a vermiculating, mazing machine or an engineer of labyrinthine inter-dimensionalities. Once death is infected (and infested) by the true satanic horror of life and its opening / affirming strategies or epidemic bonds of philia -- triggered by the auto-collapse of all survival economies and necrocratic regimes -- opening and being opened gruesomely is inexorable; the exhumed and scavenged death is sewn together as the lines of a new becoming (anonymous-until-now) trapped in the interphyletic and pestilential bonds of philia and life; it becomes a germinal death or a becoming(s), disloyal to Zero. To call it germinal death is because it has a germinal intensity within itself; it has been infected and infested with a germinality which can only be diagramed and perceived through the inter-dimensionality and the fathomless epidemic of philia and its openness and not life alone since this germinality which death has been infected with is not the Deleuzian movement from an organized body to 'the body without organs', the vortex of zero or death, for death itself has been laid open (infected, contaminated and butchered) and disterminalized (brought to an ultimate openness) under the constant and progressive ungrounding processes unleashed by the desiring machines or the epidemic / plaguing agents of philia; this germinality is a total and dangerously epidemic Openness, it is not movement but pure openness (in the sense of epidemic), it does not move since it is an absolute ungrounding process of ground or a horizon which makes all lines of tactics (movements) and at the same time, their domestication possible (movements, fluxes or tactical lines can only run and flow in the presence of dimensions, surfaces and other attributes of grund [14]), an openness which infects and attracts, merely radiating openness, its war against closure is purely strategic and not tactical [15] which needs ground as its horizon. However, what makes this germinality, germinal and not something else is that it is a space of becomings and heterogeneities giving rise to the new things (modes of power, entities, etc.) like the germinality that Deleuze diagrams; however the lines of these ungrounded becomings (of this ungrounded germinality) do not envelope a becoming-death as their zero-intensity (extinguishable intensity) or final silence [16] any longer, for, once again, death has been disterminalized, infested and cracked open. Openness bites into death, chews and liquidates it by its enzymes. Germinal death is death transmuted to a new becoming or rather a space of becomings through which death surpasses itself through a brutal opening process; death itself is disterminalized by transmuting to a becoming that is anonymous (and imperceptible) even to zero but not external to it. Death actually happens but merely as a collective perversion (an infested practice with its own anonymous and contaminated intensities) through the epidemic bonds and the interphyletic labyrinths of philia. This is why Russian psychoanalyst Victor Mazin considers Chernukha and necrorealism as the anonymous landscapes of "the mutual contamination of life and death" [17]; or as previously discussed, base-necrophilia. Where even death is infested, then, survival economy (and the necessity of surviving for the organic body) as the base-ground of necrocracy loses all its politico-economic conservatism, mutates into a virulent strategy augmenting the collapse of any stratification process on its holy ground, acts as a camouflaged ungrounding process: solidity becomes virulent and messy; institutions become deterritorializing machines (as in the Post-Soviet space). This is where necrophilia (Chernukha) unleashes itself as a brutal schizotrategy working at the heart of paranoia as an ungrounding force. Through germinal death, the survivalist subject or the avatar of solidity does not try to survive but to soften itself progressively, to become an avatar of the ultimate softness; however, it does not choose or follow the liquidation that flux or conventional destratification processes use to mollify solidity; it installs decay (what is supposed to be a characteristic process of the regime of doom and destruction and the Oedipus race as Deleuze warns) as its softening machine, as a way of replacing surviving with eternal decomposition and rotting processes not on the plane of paranoia but schizotrategy and anti-solidity. Decomposition and decay stop because of the limits that death (or the great void) draws; in germinal death, however, they progress and persist endlessly. Decay appears as a strategic anti-rigidity process working through paranoia, using a brutal and fanatic destratification which is utterly dangerous and somehow disloyal to both schizophrenia and paranoia; what it only cares about is delirial softening. To this extent, desire for germinal death is not geminated on the great silence or the cosmic tides of entropy, but as Nick Land suggests, "Pest." In a transcendental interrogation, if becoming-death is the zero-collapse of all becomings, then what is that Becoming which infects death, demonically possesses it, pervades and infiltrates it, and in a turbulent motion ungrounds death through the epidemic openness of life through which everything is scavenged as an interphyletic wreckage or a maze of the affirming bonds? What is the becoming-infected death (germinal death) which loses its terminality, crosses itself as a becoming and becomes anonymous even to Zero but not external to it, a death cracked open by the affirming strategies of the satanic chemistry of life which allows the survival economies to be grounded as part of mess engineering and its grand strategic design for universal ungrounding? Is it Anonymous-until-Now (incognitum hactenus)? Or a lie or as the ancient Zoroastrians called it, Druj-, the feminine blackening upheaval, a universal ungrounding force or the Mother of Abominations -- Druj- means lie or strategy, the Mother of Abominations (Mistmare) or the life-satan according to Vendidad or the Zoroastrian Anti-Druj Laws -- by whose ungrounding forces, survival is rendered a catastrophic blindness through the dark chemistry of life?
Chernobog, Chernobyl, Chernukha. Call it Chernukha cinema, contemporary Russia, the Mistmare (Mother of Abominations) or germinal death; it ungrounds death to the point that it (death) cannot be charted on the logic and the plane of the Outside; and the Outside as a horizon which renders the outlines of our thoughts, politics and economies and finally horror loses its creative and significant existence. We come to an expanse of juxtaposed death (Non esse apud se) or a dimensional wreckage (a terminal intimacy as in demonic possession) in which death is extra-proximal, assuming a germinal process of its own through life. Death itself becomes a germinal unlife. In such a non-judgmental upheaval, death cannot serve the outside any longer or the other way around; horror leaves the Outside or Baudrillardian Double as its fungal oceans and becomes a cryptogenic process which rises everywhere that philia germinates. The Bataillean eye, the eye of the Outside, is turned inside out; becomes an evaporative eye. The cult of the Eye must be the cult of philia, the Mother of Abominations, Chernukha and the germinal death. Chernukha does not insinuate death as an outsider or the death-outsider as the principle of its horror but frenziedly tries to explore the space in which death is always beside one in a diabolic intimacy of zero-distance and multiplying closeness or more accurately the level of possession (possessing and being possessed: ungrounded), for possession (or demonic infestation) is always the closeness in the absence of measures, scales and judgments (metron), a molecular closeness. This extra-proximal death ('death-beside ...') instead of the death-outsider has been disseminated as the imminent horror of a life whose necrocratic regimes and survival economies are progressively ungrounded, a life rabidly radiating its contagious lines, turning necrocracy to base-necrophilia, transmuting any communication to a strategic affirmation leading to a gruesome and inevitable openness (not 'being open to' as the liberalist and absolutely economical approach to openness but being lacerated, cracked and laid open). The entities, the inter-dimensional entities of this germinal death have already swarmed our popular culture, horror genre, video games, literature, the internet and everyday life, triggered the rise of new cryptogenic (ungrounded) entities and networks of power, disloyal to any grounded(ing) approach or procedure. Chernukha is not noir; it is a creative blackness inviting blindness as its only way of experience. It is beyond judgment.  - Reza Negarestani   http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=396

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