Late Night in Sorrento

Kosta Tonev / Vienna, Austria — Jan 17, 2020

Late Night in Sorrento* (working title)

I am developing a project that deals with the representation of terror and conflict through modern consumer technology. It consists in re-enactments of all major terrorist attacks committed in Moscow since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

During a recent artist residency in Russia, I recorded a series of selfie-videos at each of the sites where terrorist activities have been carried out in the past. I am currently editing these clips into a single video piece. The edited video will include motion graphics and sound effects, thus recreating the explosions and destruction that occurred at the scenes of the attacks. In its finished form, the video will be presented in a vertical aspect ratio (portrait mode), similar to most cell phone videos.

The large number of terrorist attacks that have taken place in Russia over the past nearly 30 years helped to consolidate the power of the presidency, and thus shaped the country’s current political landscape. According to Alain Badiou, who views the event as a rupture in being, it is by positioning oneself in an event that a human animal becomes a subject. The project brings this process to an accelerated absurdity, in which the same person seems to become a casual eyewitness to a series of historic event (or repeatedly finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time).

One of the clips I recorded during my recent stay in Moscow captures a street musician performing the Russian song »Поздний вечер в Соренто« inside the Moscow metro, which translates as »Late Night in Sorrento«. At least half of the terrorist attacks that took place in Russia during the past three decades were carried out inside the underground system. To set the mood of the entire video I am planning to integrate additional footage capturing the sites of the attacks (including subway stations). Therefore, the street recording is likely to become a recurrent theme that plays in the background of the video.

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