Aslan Gaisumov (b. 1991 Chechnya)
Single-channel, HD video projection, colour, no sound, 04’11”
Courtesy the artist and Emalin, London
Titled after the car of the eponymous Soviet make, the video Volga shows, in a slow crescendo of activity and tension, groups of men, women and children walking up to a white car and squeezing into it. Yet the characters allow themselves to be swallowed by the car with calm and dignity. It is as if their action, in all its absurdity, could also be understood as an allegory of travel in a wider and less urgent sense, or even as a stoic display of dark humour. As so often, Gaisumov has chosen to approach an uncomfortable truth indirectly, elliptically, allowing us to see the ghostly encounter between the seen and the unseen. It is there that lived experience becomes a poetic image: both open-ended field and precisely scripted action.