Alter Scrinium. Exhibition of video and documentary «Zhachev’s declaration» 2010
The Dud Effect
  • Director: Deimantas Narkevicius (Lithuania)

    Born in 1964 in Utena (Lithuania). Now he lives and works in Vilnius. One of the most well-known and popular artists of the modern international stage. Gained international fame in 2001 when his project presented Lithuania at the 49th Biennale in Venice. Participant of many international projects in modern art and cinema, including Biennale in Gwangju (2006), San Paolo Biennale (2010) and Rotterdam International Film Festival (2002 and 2003). In 2008 he received a European award of Vincent Van Gogh for his contribution into visual arts development. 

Lithuania,  2008,  16 min.
Alter Scrinium. Exhibition of video and documentary «Zhachev’s declaration»

During the “Cold War” there were several military bases located in the territory of Lithuania, equipped with nuclear – tipped missiles. These complexly arranged super-technological facilities have become symbols of the grand political confrontation unfolding over the past century. One of these objects has come to the attention of the artist and become a point of departure for interpreting the recent past. In this sense, “Dud Effect” is a unique cinematic experiment, developing in several directions. The author intentionally confronts a range of narrative techniques, using staged footage, documentary footage and a demonstration of archival materials. He invited the former Red Army officer Evgeny Terentyev, who served on one of the Soviet bases and recreated the entire process of launching nuclear-tipped missiles in details. However, this method differs from the so-called “mockumentary”, where the reconstruction of events includes live action. Artist exempts real person from the present, puts him in the space of lost reality, offering him to invade the territory of his own experience. The sophisticated motor skill of the officer is particularly striking. The aloof, much distanced view of the camera shows the process of implementing the mechanism of resistance. Close to the drama of religious sacrifice, strictly regulated and subject to logic of repression - he assigns the man only the part of a controlled element in the body of giant machine. Gradually, this highly aestheticized visibility is substituted by the demonstration of the current state of military installations, which resemble the scenery for the film with apocalyptical plot. Its personal or even tactile way of shooting draws the viewer into a world where the majesty and power remained only in the form of large-scale ruined sites. The viewer turns out to be a witness to the historic breakup that was brought in the form of concrete things. The film by Narkevicius undoubtedly is one of the most interesting statements, applying directly to the phenomenon of history, at a time when the very phenomenon is acquiring a new semantic configuration.