vostok 7

reenactment / radiofilm 
radio play / 33min single shot choreography (loop)

SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin / Soshenko 33, Kyiv

Vostok 7 is a reenactment of the spaceship that has yet to be built. Situated in Kherson, Ukraine, the narrative of the radiofilm is an artistic study of the Vostok Program of Soviet Space Travel that began with Yuri Gagarin’s first manned space flight, Vostok 1 in 1961, and ended with Vostok 6 in 1963 with the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkowa. The semi-fictional narrative is introduced from the perspective of the first radio frequency between humans in space: established between the Vostok 5 and Vostok 6 spaceships. Remembering its three human incarnations in Kherson, South Ukraine, the radio frequency addresses the relationship between eco-logical and ego-logical concerns reflected within a human experience. 

Suggesting radio, sound, and listening as dynamic methods of self-enquiry, politics and processes of inner and outer-space exploration, the colonization of space is taken into consideration, in order to reflect and critique contemporary colonial forces of separation, marginalising segregation processes on earth and the beginning of the war in Ukraine in 2014. The first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkowa, is an anti-hero and protagonist of the play giving voice to the current political developments in Post-Soviet Russia, such as radical constitutional amendments: including allowance of two more six-year presidential terms for Vladimir Putin and introducing a constitutional ban of same-sex marriage and patriotic education in schools, among others.

Proposing a diversity of strategies to overcome unsustainable, separative, and exploitative tendencies of the ego  – in light of intense collective and individual struggle and near-death experiences – the piece is a listening manual anchored in the politics of war, dementia and love ethics; transmigration, gasoline and music. The point of departure for the video is a radio play accompanied by seven illustrations rooted in artistic research at the Russian State Archive of Scientific-Technical Documentation in Moscow. Together with the illustrations, the radio play acts as a dynamic score for the performance of a single-shot video-choreography embracing elements of an interactive installation, sculpture and a performance lecture. Remotely directed during the current pandemic, the work unfolds in response to the increase of isolationist policies in (Eastern) Europe and addresses the core question: how can the synthesis of fine art and sound art respond to site-specific problems in the everyday?

The work is developed as a contribution to the RAUPENIMMERSATTISM exhibition at SAVVY Contemporary. The exhibition confronts the endless consumption of our societies and the affluence many hold at the expense of others’ poverty, a collective exhibition is composed as a result of ten months of research, grapplings, and reasonings together. The show unfolds as a choral questioning to challenge structural inequalities and stand alongside positions of vulnerability.

Radiofilm credits:
Anna Sorokovaya – artist, Soshenko 33
Anton Kats – film directing, concept and narrative
Eugene Filatov – focus puller/1st AC
Jared Meier-Klodt – voice recording
Igor Kritskiy – light 
Igor Pavlovic Pointet – VFX
ILYICH – sound, composition
Louis Becket – sound mixing and mastering
Maria Korovkina – project management
Marcus Bow Badow, color grading
Marcus Eich – VFX
Nikita Znak – 2nd AC 
Shelley Pellegrin – voice
Simone Legner – voice fairy
Taras Kovach – artist, Soshenko 33
Viktor Ruban – choreography 
Yarema Malashchuk – camera
Special thanks for the manifestation of the project – Minatha Condé

Funded by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe: