04, 05, 07 December
SOS: SONG OF SONGS: DIGITAL PREMIERE IN ISRAEL
© ANTON DONNIKOV, PHOTO IS PROVIDED BY GARAGE MUSEUM
Mart Foundation, the organizer of the International Festival of Culture Mart, introduces Israeli audiences to one of the most innovative hybrid performance works to emerge from Russia in recent years with the Israeli premiere screening of SOS (The Song of Songs), created by visual and performance artist Vera Martynov and composer Alexey Sysoev. This hybrid performance work, featuring soloists from the acclaimed Intrada Vocal Ensemble directed by Ekaterina Antonenko, two narrators, a musician playing percussion and a telegraph key was to make its U.S. premiere in March 2020 but was canceled due to COVID-19; it has now been reconceived as a media installation presented on video.
“One of the most extraordinary events involving Russian contemporary music and theater. A powerful statement about love and loss.” — NEWSru (Russia)
The SOS (Song of Songs) live performance media format includes the full text of the Song of Songs (the date of writing is unknown — this is the period from the 7th to the 1st century BC), translated into English from the 13th century (king james bible), video and studio audio recording of the cantata, as well as a total installation by Vera Martynov woven into the video.
Especially for the media premiere, Vera creates an entire exhibition — this is a total installation, on which she has been working for quite some time, the theme of which — in search of a lost home — flows from project to project, changes, but still does not end there. This is an attempt to either remember or compose your house, an attempt to mock it up, create its setting, atmosphere, draw it. Vera creates large paintings in which memories are intertwined with the real world, written in the technique that artists used at the beginning of our era, painting the walls of their houses and creating the first portraits of people in the history of art (Pompeian painting, Fayum portraits), and the genre can be characterized as magical realism (direction in painting and literature of the 20th and 21st centuries). The plots of these works are similar to group portraits of plants, they are not real landscapes. Vera's childhood impressions from small provincial towns in southern Ukraine, vivid memories from travels to the islands of Greece, Italy, California deserts, views from the windows of numerous rented Moscow apartments, views from hotels in megacities, St. Petersburg sunsets, which she observes all spring and summer — all quarantine — from the workshop terrace; crumbling firewalls and frescoes from Pompeian houses — everything is mixed in this installation, and the process of its creation becomes part of the media cantata.
SOS takes its name from the worldwide standard Morse code signal of distress and draws from the poetic Old Testament text, Solomon’s Song of Songs. Composer is Alexey Sysoev and choreographer Nikita Chumakov.
Digital version produced by Mart Foundation with support from documentary platform Nonfiction.film.
SOS is performed in English and Russian.