THE TABLE // ROMAN ZASLONOV, VIKTAR LABKOVICH + SERGEY TALYBOV
THE REPUBLIC OF BELARUS PAVILION AT THE 57th INTERNATIONAL ART BIENNALE IN VENICE
May 11th - November 26th 2017
THE TABLE by Roman Zaslonov, Viktar Labkovich + Sergey Talybov.
In collaboration with Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus, National center of contemporary arts of the Republic of Belarus, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus & Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Italy.
Location: Fondamenta San Giuseppe 925, Castello 30122, Venice.
Opening hours: 12:00 - 19:00, closed Mondays.
Formal searches and in-depth meanings, an implicit reflection instead of a direct statement - the kind of evolution that the artwork of famous Belarusian artist Roman Zaslonov has undergone in a new project representing Belarusian contemporary art scene at the 57. Venice Biennale.
Roman Zaslonov's table is virtually endless, a reel unfolding throughout the video footage, sliding towards the right along with the framing, in constant movement. 33 minutes for 33 characters. The first is the artist himself, followed by lovers caressing each other, an old war veteran telling his tales, two women talking to each other yet having very different conversations, an elderly man reminiscing on his life as he looks through old photos and letters, a jilted lover, and many more.
The table thus becomes a sort of aggregating principle that holds together the manifold conglomeration of experiences that the individuals go through. Human experience is not only made of sheer objects and physical events, but also of meanings, symbols, expectations, social and cultural assumptions. And, more than ever before, of links to the virtual realm. Each and every stimulus, no matter if it is material or immaterial, can trigger our sensory response, thus affecting our stream of consciousness.
The Table embodies the stream itself, the space where everything happens, comes to the surface of our consciousness and intersects the endless referral to other stories, people, places, and times. Everything appears on the table, rendering the table the quintessential place where to put things, to look at them best, analyse them, have them within our reach, manipulate them. The dining table, the meeting table, the surgery table. The table serves as a threshold in two ways: it has an opposite side where we appear to be sitting, and the hidden area beneath the table representing an unknown dimension that abandons our view.
Through the installation, the viewer is encouraged to rethink all the sensory inputs we come across in the circle of our increasingly fragile attention, in the light of the inherent relationship that ties us to others, and the Other to us.