At the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the “Timekeeper” exhibition features installations by contemporary Belgian and American artists, exploring the theme of time. This five-day exhibition includes the works of Anna Frants, Alexandra Dementieva, Arno Jacobs, and Koen Theys.
Alexandra Dementieva, who has become one of the leading media artists in Belgium, will showcase the installation “Last Breath,” where viewers can ignite light using their own breath. Anna Frants, a co-founder of the Cyland media lab and curator of the “Cyberfest” festival, presents the interactive installation “Shadows” – a visual and sound space that changes with sensors and reacts to viewers.
Arno Jacobs, creator of “Permafrost,” a musical instrument that performs compositions based on physical processes, introduces his new project “The Eye of Maton.” This device scans the iris of a person and plays a new musical composition each time using tiny music boxes.
Koen Theys, a prominent figure in Belgian video art, will display his famous video installation “Fanfares, Rest, and Pleasure.” Art critic Lea Sturtridge, director of the Berlin Center for Contemporary Art WYI and the Dam Stuhltrager gallery in New York, presents the collection “Letters about Time.” She asked famous people from various countries, from writers to politicians, “What is time and what bright moments do you remember?”
On June 1 at 5:00 PM, as part of the exhibition, there will be workshops on creating installations by Anna Frants and Arno Jacobs.
Sofia Kudryavtseva, head of the Hermitage’s Youth Center in the Main Headquarters, explains: “The exhibition is dedicated to the fleetingness and variability of time. The artists themselves proposed the theme and specially prepared various video installations for this event. The title ‘Timekeeper’ is a metaphor, signifying the artist’s ability to interrupt the flow of time and capture a moment in their works. The only old project presented is Koen Theys’ installation ‘Fanfares, Rest, and Pleasure,’ where an image is projected onto a wall showing people dressed as drummers accompanying parades, sleeping soundly in various positions. At some point, we begin to see each of them trying to lie down more comfortably. It’s a long installation: initially, the video lasts two to three minutes, but it continuously repeats. Some viewers sit in front of it for an hour.”