Stas Bags “Hyperbaric oxygenation” 2023

Music: New Composers

Hyperbaric oxygenation is a method of saturating a patient with oxygen (oxygen therapy) under high pressure for therapeutic purposes, carried out in pressure chambers. Initially, this path was conceived as a preventive procedure and a kind of meditation, like flipping through an old album with black and white photographs and captions in the form of the author’s philosophical reflections on growing up and frozen time. To increase the degree of this melancholy, it was decided to add everyday objects and triggers from Stas Bugs’ youth, largely because of which his special view of the world and artistic language developed. The peak point is a tragic story: in the late 1990s, he saw a news broadcast on TV in which they talked about an accident with a child who burned alive in a pressure chamber. So, instead of a miracle of healing, a catastrophe arose, leading to the death of an innocent soul. Therefore, the exhibition is structured in such a way that the viewer feels how quickly life flashes before their eyes, and how the eternal search for meaning and reflection on traumatic situations can suddenly end due to a raging natural disaster or a fateful dead end.

The exhibition space is divided into three unequal parts: the starting one – the hall with the first exhibition opened on the platform (2017 project – “1984” by Stas Bags), the main one – the corridor and hall take the viewer to the Mariinsky Hospital (where the artist’s mother worked), and installation rooms (created based on paintings and murals from 2016-2022), the final one is an operating room. The musical design was created based on 15 tracks by the group New Composers from the albums “Indigo” 2001, “Delta Plan” 2004, “Radio” 2006, “Russian Spring” 2006, “Start” 2016, “Astra” 2017, “Precisely today, exactly now” 2022. With its help, increased emotional pressure is maintained in each room, and the required amount of air is supplied in the form of voids and texts.

Text: Katya Mikhatova

“Hyperbaric oxygenation”