AND ALSO (Don’t Tell Anyone) Love is a Crime

24.4.2016 — 1.5.2016
Elektrozavod Gallery, Moscow

AND ALSO is a place that does not have to be real in order to be real. It opens up when the individual identities stop making sense, when one is becoming undone, when the relationships do not have a genre, when the binary logic of “either/or” turns dysfunctional.

AND ALSO is a play produced and performed by the two artists, who may — or may not — make sense without each other.

Alev Adil is a poet who is inseparable, indistinguishable, becoming-different, and living through her poems. Adil’s practice of poetry-writing corresponds to the process of perpetual distortion of her identity, its deterritorialisation, and falling apart. Ongoing dispersion of the poet’s identity materialises in the emergence of multiple personalities, born and enacted within her poems, connected in an ongoing conversation. She is Johnny, the private detective. She is Gilda (aka Elsa, aka Rita Hayworth, aka Lady From Shanghai). She is the Soldier. And also the disappeared Little Girl.

Sasha Burkhanova is a curator who is an amalgam of artists she ever worked with/is working with/will be working with in the future. She is the past, present and future experience of connection with the authors she reads. She is an empathetic curator who is theoretically grounded in the concept of love as the principal driving force for interpersonal creative collaboration — with Johnny, Gilda, Soldier, and also the disappeared Little Girl.

The nature of relationships in AND ALSO is not a singular line of narration; it is the surface of a curve with all the variables that appear when Love (for Xs) and Duty (for Ys) meet. In the play, the multiple characters constitute different trajectories of choice-making: they are the enactments of different ethics that emerge in the eternal human conflict between Love and Duty.

For the duration of the place, people and objects are invited to inhabit AND ALSO, for as long and as far as they want; to spend their time in exploration of stories, positions and perspectives, produced by each performative exhibit. The poems will be there — written by Alev in English, and rewritten (not merely translated into Russian) by Sasha. The speaking pillows will be there — for telling secrets. The artists will be there — for retelling. The copier machine will be there — for sharing everything and making gifts. The hopscotch will be there — for anyone to join the conversation and take part in the play.

— Sasha Burkhanova and Alev Adil, 2016.

(Photographs: Vlad Shatilo, 2016)