The pandemic period that removed us to a safe distance from our outer environment is also an opportunity to think about safe distances in our inner environments. Questions about whether or not we have enough inner freedom, air to breathe and feel ourselves, how to stay in touch with the real world when we are permanently confined to our homes or video conferencing apps, have become more frequent and pressing. How important is it to socially distance not only outside the walls of the home, but also inside it? Where is the six-foot safe distance’s edge, outside and inside? What is its edge like—the size of a teaspoon or as thin as skin, as a sheet? When domestic narratives become the center of existence, to what extent can domestic life be sublime, filled with new discoveries and explorations of the self and of the universe? Do confined spaces give rise to new “social” environments made out of objects and things? Do humans begin to feel time more acutely and pick up on different sounds: their neighbors’ conversations, teaspoons clinking, oil hissing, sheets rustling?
Safe Distance is a reflection on personal boundaries, an attempt to strike a balance between outer and inner worlds, a quest for treasures at the border of private and public. Stories gathered from omnipresent domestic objects and personal “valuables” and secrets are scattered throughout the shared private space of an apartment building courtyard. The map holds just ten points, each of which is a micro-installation accompanied by a story in sound that can be found online. Narratives flow from one point to another, converging in a single central installation like thin threads weaving the pattern of a common history. As viewers move through it, their sensory experiences grant them “treasures” of their own: new knowledge, experiences, and growth.
You can find the treasure map and instructions here:
Sound by Evgeny Pisarchenko/HWYL
Alexandra Melnikova is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of various media: installation, video, photography, street art, painting, drawing, performance, and intervention. Her work deals with transformations of memory, the ways in which personal narratives mutate, and searching for meaning in everyday objects. Melnikova studies reflections of the outside world in the intimate inner world. She is based in Tyumen.
Evgeny Pisarchenko is a musician and producer working in the genre of eclectic electronic music, improvisation, and simultaneous performance. Pisarchenko’s work explores non-duality, the transactional nature of life, and ways of interpreting physically occurring phenomena artistically through sound.