Critics’ Picks

The Train, 2003, still from a black-and-white video with sound, 7 minutes.

The Train, 2003, still from a black-and-white video with sound, 7 minutes.

New York

Olga Chernysheva

Foxy Production
2 East Broadway 200
March 30–April 21, 2007

The highlight of Olga Chernysheva’s New York solo debut is The Train, 2003, a seven-minute video that records a seemingly single-take voyage (à la Russian Ark) through the cars of an intercity Moscow train. Though the camera’s progression toward the back of the train follows the linear path of the railway, Chernysheva’s meandering passage through crowds, empty coaches, dining cars, and sleeping berths—set to the contemplative strains of Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 21—instead proposes a circuitous spatiality. In this and much of the work on view (a sampling of her oeuvre from the past seven years), the Moscow-based artist investigates issues of space and reality in contemporary Russia. The large black-and-white portraits of the photographic series “On Duty,” 2007, depict idle uniformed workers; their faces glazed with expressions of interminable boredom, the unswerving gaze toward the heroic Soviet future has here begun to slacken. Windows, 2007—a fifteen-channel video installation that offers nighttime views of the banal lives of apartment dwellers—fractures this once-collective gaze into separate, voyeuristic visions. Although this modest show only allows for a partial perspective on Chernysheva’s investigations, it affirms her as one of the most fascinating Russian artists at work today.