У.Р.А.Л. (Ural river), 2010
photography, variable media,
courtesy of the artist
« The reason to pass over the River appears in the very beginning of the novel, when Petya Void, who is walking through cold Moscow during the Revolution, meditates on the fact that « Russian souls are not destined to cross Styx when it is frozen, and it is not a ferryman who gets a penny, but "someone in grey" who rents a pair of ice-skates»*.
У.Р.А.Л. (russian - Ural), the «Conditional River of Absolute Love», is an the abbreviation coined by Victor Pelevin in his famous postmodern novel «Chapayev and Void» (1996). Pelevin plays with the name of one of the biggest Russian rivers, Ural, that conventionally is considered to separate Europe from Asia, the fondamental break for Russian identity.
* Alexander Zakurenko, Structure and Origins of the novel «Chapayev and Void» by Victor Pelevin, 2005