Alchemical Transformation

Media project: Photo series – 13 prints 60x60cm each, photographic paper and art film, 2005

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“…how to convey in words the meaning of the melody of the wind, the breaths of the flute clinging to the crevices? The streams of air currents are tender and cool, the stones are warm, and the openings of the flute are uneven. They were carved by the streams of rain jets, and now the wind’s breaths freely glide in the depths of the labyrinth, where darkness is deep, the gentle rustle of sand grains is thoughtful, and the babble of droplets is absorbed into the smooth flesh of underground corridors, whose long tunnels resound with the melody of the wind. The wind is passionate, then quiet, then it quickly caresses the warm rocks of the cliffs and the gaps in the crevices, then it pauses and listens to the echo of the response. The wind is the Great Alchemist, who created from stone a complex winding rhythm of magical howls. How to convey this elusive wonder in words? Only by momentarily forgetting the meaning of human words, becoming the melody of speech, merging with the breath of the wind, diving deep into the arteries of the stone to reach its core, becoming silence in the depths of the mountain, in the black underground lake…”

“Not flesh, but spirit has spread in our days…” – tired and nearsighted, Tyutchev exhaled. Obviously, visionary artists in every era keenly experience the crises of spirituality inherent to their time. Any significant artistic movement offers contemporaries a recipe for overcoming the meaninglessness of existence, filling the inner vacuum with significant, emotionally charged images-eidoses, empathizing with which the participating viewer of the “artist-viewer” dialogue experiences a spiritual transformation. Feeling oneself as an important and integral part of the complex interconnection of all existing, understanding one’s role in the process of natural transformations, tenderly and thoughtfully relating to the process of the events-social canvas of one’s life, these are perhaps only some of the most general results of cathartic transformation.

Experimental art film

⚠️ Viewer discretion is advised: This art video project contains nudity and may not be suitable for all audiences. We recommend that minors do not watch this content. Please be aware of this before viewing.

Exhibitions and awards

🏆 Best experimental film. IV St. Petersburg International Festival of Debut  Films “Beginning”. St-Petersburg, Russia, 2005

🖼️ Exhibition “Siberian myth. The images and symbols of the archaic cultures in contemporary art. Omsk, Gorno-Altaisk,  Barnaul, Novosibirsk, Tyumen” The project of the State Russian Museum “Sprouting Siberia”. Omsk Museum of Fine Arts named  after Mikhail Vrubel. Omsk, Russia, 2005, 1-29 April.

🖼️ Solo exhibition “Melody for Flute”. Gallery “Chernoff” Novosibirsk, Russia, 2005, 1st September.


This photo art project, titled “Melody for a Flute,” is an expression of an alchemical synthesis between Western and Eastern symbolic systems. The project merges these systems through an artistic style inspired by the Zen Buddhist graphics of Japan. Japan, a country that reveres its spiritual past while also being a model of scientific and technological progress, is a powerful cultural symbol that combines mystical enlightenment with scientific calculation, the mountain retreat of a hermit and the stock market.

The project’s minimalist approach, lack of excessive detail, and multi-layered symbolic representation of bodily poses aim to convey to the viewer the mystical essence of existence, the enigmatic nature of the human perception of reality, and the reality itself – which is far removed from any human judgments or speculative opinions. The magic of perception is conveyed directly, without clichés or dominant opinions, through photographic depictions of the male form. In the current socio-cultural period, the norms of perception and aesthetic judgment are dictated by market demand for advertising products, where spirituality itself becomes a marketing tool. The female body is viewed in this “coordinate system” from the perspective of a lifestyle that allows for different meanings of the word “service” and serves the criteria of beauty, which are developed from the perspective of buying and selling the advertised image: a movie star at one pole and a fashion model at the other.

The male body is more taboo in contemporary photography. Chastity, which dates back to the ancient models of culture, the cosmism of human anatomy, and the complexity of yogic poses, allowed the artist to abstract themselves from the Christian-Freudian fears and the damagingly mechanistic expectations of lovers of perverse sensuality.

In the value system postulated by this project, exposed flesh is an archetypal symbol with multifaceted significance emphasized by an accompanying material attribute taken from the context of human activity, conventionally defined as “domestic shamanism.” Essentially, any object of archaic culture can serve as a “conduit to the world of spirits” for a consumerist mentality, captivating and frightening with its meaninglessness from a utilitarian perspective. The significance of these “shamanic attributes,” as well as the unusual plasticity of poses for European perception, allows us to tell the story of the secret “superhuman” life of the Universe through the language of light and shadow.

To surprise and be surprised, that is what, in our opinion, unites a medieval alchemist who gazes into a boiling glass retort and a photographic artist peering at a computer monitor. Doctor Faust, the first photographer who “captured the moment,” and a small, wizened Japanese elder in the garb of a Zen patriarch, blissfully smiling, listening to the sounds of a flute: “…to become an inspired flute under the fingers of the dancing wind…” To transform the lead of everyday life into the gold of an artistic act, turning “drudgery into delight and life into defiance…” – this is the “Great Work” of alchemists from all times and traditions.

Melody for Flute. Alchemical Transformation.

Titles of the photographs:

  1. Dissolution. The act of transitioning from a gaseous or solid state to a liquid state.
  2. Filtration. The mechanical separation of liquids and insoluble particles suspended in the liquid.
  3. Evaporation. The process of changing or transforming from a liquid or solid state to a gaseous state with the help of heat.
  4. Purification. The operation by which a volatile liquid may be separated from substances contained in a solution.
  5. Separation. The operation of separating substances. Purification through decomposition, decomposition by artificial means.
  6. Calcination. Conversion to powder by the action of heat, removal of volatile substance.
  7. Mixing. Combining different ingredients into a homogeneous mass.
  8. Purification by decomposition, decomposition by artificial means.
  9. Inhibition. The process of returning to the original state.
  10. Fermentation. The conversion of organic matter into new components using a ferment.
  11. Fixation, the act or process of transitioning from a liquid to a solid state.