The work Street Without End was earlier presented at the joint exhibition Utopia, a Place Doesn’t Exist at the now-closed cultural space Canteen XYZ

Street Without End, Sergey Shabohin, 2018 г

The artist spoke with to explain what the work means to him and why he created it:

“The video is based on extracts from the 1972 film Street Without End by Belarusfilm studio. The film was shot in my home town Navapolatsk that was being built at that time.

The USSR planned to create a huge industrial centre. The town was squeezed between the river (the opposite bank was unfit for construction) and the forest, which you cannot cut because it protects Napavolatsk’s atmosphere from the plant facilities. The town grows in length, and the main street Maladzezhnaya really runs through the whole town. I think it gave the film its name.

Later, the utopian street reached its end when the construction was completed after the USSR collapse. Today, the street grows at a slower pace.

For my video, I selected shots with a character in the deserted town or the park and used video editing programs to ‘cut’ him or her. As a result I get a film featuring a creature/ghost/bubble wandering around the deserted town, plant facilities, entering the park and dissolving in the river flow.

It is a work about the Soviet utopia, unrealized dreams, urbanism and nature. I exposed the video on the table, where I recreated models of three Navapolatsk apartment blocks that form the letters ССС [first letters of the Russian abbreviation for the Soviet Union – СССР]. Legends say the apartment block in the shape of the letter Р was not built due to the Soviet Union collapse. Instead of the letter Р, I exposed a screen with the film.

By the way, I used music by Belarusians – brothers Denis and Dmitry Kovalev (their musical project Sgustok, the track Pleasant Sufferings, 2008). It’s not my first video project. I actively use this medium in my new works.

The video Street Without End is part of the project dedicated to Navapolatsk I am working on right now. The town celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. It has a lot of exciting stories I’d like to reveal in my works.”

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