Text by CLOT Magazine
Behind VOLNA, the art collective from St Petersburg whose visual art installations revolve around the interplay of light and darkness, are Nikita Golyshev & Snezhana Vinogradova (founders & creative directors), Jana Cheklina, Dmitry Gavkaluk, Ekaterina Morzobitova, and Alexey Belyakov.
We always start out with a ‘black page’ or dark three-dimensional space. Then we release light onto it, creating an image. The characteristics of light make up the content and form of our art, and an installation’s production is a creative process that determines its form and design. So we make a light installation. They can entertain the public, but for us, they are always serious challenges in the field of art. Says the team about their work.
Founded in 2016, the collective is presenting Keep Yourself Clean, a major online exhibition that gathers their major works from 2016 to the present in a virtual space: NEUBAU (2016), Powerline (2017) and Rotor (2018), the light installation Octave (2018), the installation Vague (2019), and two kinetic light installations, Duel (2019) and Nymphéas (2020). The artistic principle behind all of them is the search for a universal language of pure forms. These forms, which correspond to the abstract subjects of the installations, are refined during an extensive detailing process, minimalistic in their expressiveness and often even have a functional nature.
Exhibition spaces and installations are created using video game development tools that simulate real-time lighting effects and scenes. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the surroundings of each installation and can move freely in the room and choose any observation point. Only works that were realised in the material world were selected for display at Keep Yourself Clean.
The main goal the collective pursues when creating new works is to develop a context-dependent environment that provokes an emotional dialogue with the viewer.