Deborah Stratman

Dec. 10 – Jan. 12, 2005 multi-media installation
@ Vonzweck Gallery
In collaboration with Rob Ray

Project Description
A site-specific, telekinetic haunting inspired by Andrei Tarkovskii's film Stalker and the central character’s mute daughter who is nicknamed Monkey (Ahbyezyana).

The gallery, a salon situated within a house, is outfitted to appear like a normal living room. Filled with furniture, a television, bookshelves, chairs, tables, a sofa and lamps. But if a visitor stays in the room long enough, she begins to notice odd things. All the lamps have been wired to circuitry causing them to flicker erratically, in tandem with one another. In the corner of the room, a glass seems to move on its own – sliding slowly across the surface of an end table every five minutes. An HSS (Hyper Sonic Sound) speaker is hidden behind the television set. These speakers are supremely directional, so that only someone standing directly in its very narrow beam can hear the audio. In this instance, the audio is the rumble of a passing freight train. All of the books on the shelves pertain to physics, quackery, spirituality, telekinesis and the like. On one of the bottom shelves, a small television monitor plays a video loop comprised of enlarged subtitles from Tarkovsky’s Stalker.

Vonzweck, the living room-turned-sometime gallery of Philip Von Zweck, is the perfect space to experience the atmospheric whisper of Ahbyezyana, the latest collaboration between electronic artist Rob Ray and filmmaker Deborah Stratman. The site-specific, multimedia installation was inspired by Stalker, the 1979 cinematic masterpiece by Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Ahbyezyana (Russian for "monkey", and the nickname of the Stalker’s daughter) is a telekinetic haunting of delicate insistence – nothing calls attention to itself – but small strange events begin to occur the longer you stay in the space. In the film, the daughter redeems the otherwise-doomed spiritual journey of the titular Stalker, and affirms faith as the conceptual pillar of spiritual existence. As such, the Vonzweck installation becomes a site for introspection and meditation on the pulse of the human spirit.
- Flavorpill, 2005

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