Sergei Bugaev

Splash-painted in oil or tar onto a white gallery wall, the title of Sergei Bugaev’s installation Stalker 3, 1996/2002, could be that of a low-budget slasher film, but it soon became clear that a different kind of terror was being evoked. The cinematic reference is to Andrei Tarkovsky’s densely allegorical 1979 film, Stalker, in which a tormented guide, or “stalker,” leads two hapless seekers through the treacherous terrain of the mysterious Zone (Tarkovsky called it “a diseased area”) in search of a room where one’s ultimate desires might be realized. The distributed version of that film is said to be the second, after the director destroyed the original. So Bugaev (aka Afrika) made a third version, inspired by Tarkovsky’s statement that “the ideal cinema is a newsreel.”

Inside the large dark center room of this three-room installation, a strange kind of newsreel was projected: a

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