The Secret

Video Artist: Program ESCAPE
Duration: 3 min 44 sec


The video is a brief novella with an introduction, culmination, and finale.The first part (the credits) are dark shots, the sound of steps. The second (main) part — “stepping” shots of the landscape, and the sound of a radio transmission of secret codes is mixed in with the sound of steps. The third part has shots of a city at night, and silence.

Given the rather aggressive soundtrack of the first two parts, the third is perceived as a certain kind of silence.

This main (second) part of the video is a performance, throughout which the artist walks down the city streets and films everything he passes.

The semantic structure of the performance is based on the following.

The walking person makes three movements at once: forward, up, and down. He usually does not notice the rhythmic motions up and down. He does not concentrate on the natural, routine processes that occur in his body and with his body during the process of walking; it is a reflex.

While walking, the legs make pendulum-like movements in relation to the walker’s vertical axis.

The most complex movement is that of the feet, which, besides simple movement forward and upward/downward also change their angle relative to the axis of the knee.

The rhythm of all mentioned movements is the same, and comparable with heartbeats, inhalation/exhalation, and the rhythm of a march.

If the video camera is affixed to the upper surface of the foot (i.e., the foot is used as the top of a tripod), then the “eye” of the camera will make pendulous motions in the rhythm of walking, and thus record all the objects on its path.

As a result, everything that the viewer sees on the screen is a trace of this performance.

Valeriy Ayzenberg

Program ESCAPE

Program ESCAPE (until 1999 – ESPACE) was established in 1999 by artist Valeriy Ayzenberg. In the same year they were joined by artists Bogdan Mamonov, Anton Litvin and Liza Morozova. Currently, the program takes part Valeriy Ayzenberg, Konstantine Adger and Vincent Nilin. In the period from 2006 to 2007 came from the group B. Mamonov, A. Litvin and Leonid Morozov.

In the course of business, determined the structure of the Programme, including joint projects of members of the Programme (group ESCAPE) and gallery ESCAPE (exhibition and action group members and guest artists on the territory of galleries and other venues).

In typological terms the gallery activity can be attributed to the international practice “artists run spaces”, and besides it sorts of revives in a new context the Moscow tradition of Apt-Art (Apartment Art). All the four programme members are curators of gallery exhibitions.

The gallery ESCAPE is the place where the first programme actions were held. Over five years there were arranged 25 exhibitions altogether. With few exceptions these are mostly experimental individual exhibitions of invited artists.

ESCAPE was originated as a response to monopolization of the present-day art by a particular narrow circle of gallery owners, curators and critics: new ways of competition inevitably encourage development of new strategies. In this case the activity of an artistic group proves to be more effective than an individual work of one artist. But it should be mentioned that to the same extent the programme was caused by the need for collective creative work experienced by each group member.