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У.Р.А.Л. (Ural), 2010

photography, variable media,

variable dimensions


courtesy of the artist

The piece alludes to U.R.A.L. (Ural), coined by Victor Pelevin in his postmodernist novel "Chapayev and Void" (1996). In Pelevin's language play, U.R.A.L. stands for the Conditional River of Absolute Love, while Ural is the name of the significant Russian river traditionally viewed as the boundary between Europe and Asia, a pivotal marker for Russian identity.

The novel introduces the reason for crossing the River early on, as Petya Void reflects while navigating cold Moscow during the Revolution. He muses that Russian souls do not cross the frozen Styx; instead, they pay "someone in grey" to rent a pair of ice-skates.

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