A (Mis)reader’s Guide to Listening is a compilation of historic and contemporary «sensing practices», collected by the artists Myriam Lewkowitz, Valentina Desideri, and Lendl Barcelos, and interpreted by a group of performers-mediators, which includes Artur Vodolagin, Sasha Puchkova, Vadim Elichev, Vadim Nikolaev, Anya Ryabova, Viktoria Kuzmina, Evgeniya Fomina, Daniil Vysotsky, Irina Venskaya, Katrin Reshetnikova, Svetlana Marshankina, Karina Scherbakova, Katya Kanke-Zaikanova, Liza Vladimirova, Marina Zadvornaya, Kristina Vegera, Anastasia Shakhova, Gala Izmailova, Polina Pugacheva, Vera Schelkina, Polina Rodrigez, Snezhana Sukhotskaya, and Anya Kravchenko. The work was created and presented as part of the exhibition Infinite Ear at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (June 8–September 2, 2018).
Artworks shaped as «practice» are always problematic in terms of «exhibiting». What is born and grows in live human experience, with the increasing number of reproductions and the inevitable reflections and alterations, loses any chances for objectivity and authenticity. Even accumulated in the form of spoken or written verbal instructions, «practices» are appropriated by the moment of their «execution». In the absence of the routine of multiple repetitions (which would demand many months), the number of variations replicates like an ink drop in the water.
Beginning a session, I usually simply start looking at the group. In most cases, I play on the instruments, then anyone can come up. Sometimes, no one shows any interest at all. But sometimes, instruments produce only a sound — and the eyes become, like, “aaah!”, ecstatic, then I grab this person for mediation.—Vadim Nikolaev (translated from Russian Sign Language by Olya Komalova)