IRA MERZLICHIN — RADIO VESNA
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VIDEO STATION — COMMISSIONED WORKS
Public speaking is regarded as an elusive domain, an abstract component of more tangible worlds, a vehicle leading both the speaker and the listener to the landscape of fact or fiction. The voice, the speech and the sound license experience, reflecting and influencing personal and social structure.
Six artists and their collaborators look into the mechanisms of speech, diving inwards through moving image practice. Ancient rhetorical training and the ecology of the non-human, insistent spirits of radio frequencies speaking about the past through lost dialects or speculative scenarios starting from contemporary social and psychological conditions. The four commissioned Video Station works approach public speaking phenomena and discursivity through a wide array of subjects, whispers, voices and gestures, as short fiction films, video art and hybrid docu-essays.
The artists and their proposals were selected from an international open call supporting the production of collaborative and transdisciplinary moving image works.
RADIO VESNA, BY IRA MERZLICHIN, SINGLE-CHANNEL VIDEO, 2020
“Just as foreign radios invade each other’s space in border areas, language reflects the influence of neighbouring countries as you approach communities that live close to the frontier. Radio Vesna, the world’s most volatile radio station, constantly moves in and out of its AM frequency as it tries to illustrate the mix of languages in the Danube Delta area. Its non-Russian speaking host scrambles as she intrudes into people’s lives and captures the difficult, ever-changing mix of old Russian, Ukrainian and Romanian. This is the beginning of a larger project that will strive to document the fluidity of language in this geographical area.” (text by Ira Merzlichin)
I grew up in Tulcea and in the Danube Delta, in a family of Lippovans. I restarted studying Russian language 3 years ago and since then I started to understand more and more about the linguistic differences in the area. In 2019 I learned more about the linguistic mix around the border areas, when I spent a few months in Chișinău and Tiraspol, Transnistria, and this work represents the beginning of a documentary project on this phenomenon.