Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Maxim Tyminko,
Gleb Choutov, Maja Ilic:
“Beguiling Orpheus”,

ZBOR #21

Monoperformance opera and video projection

Duration: 62 min

Video HD 1080p, screen: 900 x 500 cm

Video/staging: Maxim Tyminko; music: Gleb Choutov, Christoph Willibald Gluck; libretto: Ranieri de’ Calzabigi; producer and subtitles: Maja Ilic; co-producer: Vika Mitrichenko; AE scripts Oleg Baravik; rotoscoping and morphing: Lena Sulkovskaya, Maria Baturina; Network rendering: Johannes Amorosa

Originally performed on September 15, 2006 on stage of the Museum of Applied Arts in Köln, Germany

Maxim Tyminko,Gleb Choutov, Maja Ilic:“Beguiling Orpheus”,2006

“Beguiling Orpheus”. Act 2 Scene 2: ‘Garden’, 2006 


Beguiling Orpheus digital mono-opera performance is one of the most significant and large-scaled works in the modern history of Belarusian art.

The performance premiered at the 2006 Nam June Paik Award ceremony, in the concert hall of the Museum of Applied Arts in Cologne. Beguiling Orpheus project was supported in 2004 after winning the international award of Nam June Paik Award of North Rhine-Westphalia Arts Foundation. Work was performed six times during 2006 and 2007 in Cologne and Düsseldorf (at Düsseldorf Festival).

The performance is based on the classic opera Orpheus and Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck.

Beguiling Orpheus is a 60-minute mono-opera, where the female singer, who plays Orpheus, interacts with video characters, being engaged in the events on the screen behind her back.

According to the performance director and author of the video Maxim Tyminko, the main idea of ​​this project is to understand the relationship between a media artist, his or her work and the exponentially developing technologies of the fast developing world. In this interpretation the traditional theatrical stage design is replaced by electronic, video and audio editing is blended with the classic performance, and an abundance of visual and audio components, located in dense synesthesia make references to modern baroque. The connection of the original Italian libretto with an electronic composition, created by the artist and musician Gleb Shoutov, supports the prevailing contrast and versatility of the sound, and Maxim Tyminko’s video immerses the viewer in the digital “world of shadows”. Allusions to classical paintings by Poussin and Lorrain, intricately arranged fantastic formal gardens and architectural designs are based on mathematical formulas and endlessly repeating calculated structural elements.

An appeal to the theme of the artist relation to technology and modern science can also be seen in other major media projects of Maxim Tyminko such as Bolek and Lyolek Cosmos. Constructor’s Manifest, opera-report Projector, Five Lyrical Songs about Physics … The core of the video installation Five Lyrical Songs about Physics… was a concert-performance of the choir of fifty Belarusian artists and two art historians assembled by Maxim Tyminko specifically for this project. The choir sang 5 songs  to the accompaniment of piano and thereminvox. The lyrical songs inspired by romantic works of  Robert Schuman and Franz Schubert were written in collaboration with the composer and poet Sergei Pukst, and are dedicated to important theories of modern physics, such as set theory, the theory of supersymmetry, string theory and the theory of everything. Excerpts from this video, as well as a fragment from the Beguiling Orpheus opera, can be viewed at the video presentation shown at the exhibition.

Maxim Tyminko (born 1972, Chernihiv, Ukraine) – artist. Participant of Revision group. Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands.   

Gleb Choutov (born 1970, Viciebsk, Belarus) – artist, musician. Lives and works in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Maja Ilic (born 1975, Bielefeld, Germany) – artist. Lives and works in Hamburg, Germany.


Text: Natallia Harachaya, Sergey Shabohin, KALEKTAR ©


This is a shortened version of the text. Full article is under construction.