Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Oleg Tcherny:
video “La linea generale”,

ZBOR #12

Video, 16′ HD

Oleg Tcherny:video “La linea generale”,2010

Video “La linea generale”,<br>2010


In order to describe the work of Oleg Tcherny, it is not enough to use the terms “film” and “video art”. Each of his works feels like a special visual experience which includes his philosophy and artistic language. For many years Oleg Tcherny was interested in nature of a movie. Why do the screen images seem alive, despite the fact that each frame individually is a fixed picture? Movement in the cinematography, the balance of film and reality became independent themes in the work of the artist titled The Show Started (2007), which won the Grand Prix at the festival in Zagreb. In this 6-minute work we see the portrait of the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, who poses for the director sitting in a chair in front of the open window at his house in Venice. During the movie Agamben gradually becomes motionless, so it gets hard to notice his breath, and then he comes to life again and starts moving energetically. Oleg Tcherny ‘s interest in portraits, as well as to those phantom creatures, which he revitalizes with the help of cameras and the exposure effect is developed in Noon at the Grave of Falconetti (2012) and Without Music (2014). The first piece is dedicated to the French director Jean-Marie Straub and the second one to the American poet Susan Howe.

To question the fiction of a movie, the illusion of the image revived on the screen, Oleg Tcherny invented his own technique, which he calls “exposure in a movie.” With increasing of exposure moving objects get blurry, whereas those who are still come into the foreground. The most famous work of Oleg Tcherny is probably La linea generale (2010). It could be seen at the 57th Venice Film Festival, Miguel Abreu Gallery in New York and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal. The duration of the movie is 16 minutes; the work consists of the shots of Venice taken from the departing ship. The film is accompanied by the cry of seagulls, the noise of the city and the voice of Giorgio Agamben, who reads an excerpt from Galileo’s book, in which Galileo is using the metaphor of the departing ship with a feather attached to it, trying to explain why the Earth rotates, but we do not notice it. The name La linea generale is a direct reference to the eponymous film by Sergei Eyzeshteyn.

Oleg Tcherny says that he chose Giorgio Agamben to read narration only because the latter, along with Galileo, apparently, “are the only ones who could see the northern lights in Venice“. It’s impossible to find information about Oleg Tcherny and his work on the Internet. The artist himself jokes that he puts false information about himself, so any search for information is meaningless. All of this comes wonderfully in tune with his creative method: in the notes, as in layering frames, only motionless, focused and repeatable remain.


Oleg Tcherny (born 1971, Belarus) – filmmaker.

Lives and works in Paris, Venice and Princeton.


Text: Vitali Schutski, Aliona Glukhova, Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©


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