Pavel Pepperstein: Inspection Medical Hermeneutics. The Pipe or The Alley of Longevity

Regina Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Inspection Medical Hermeneutics. The exhibition includes one of the group’s earliest installations ‘The Pipe or the Alley of Longevity’, created by its members Pavel Pepperstein and Sergei Anufriev. The history of the project began in 1995 during the preparation for a show in Prague called ‘Flight, Departure, Disappearance’. Over the past two decades, ‘The Pipe or the Alley of Longevity’ has been presented in several important exhibitions in the Czech Republic, Germany and Switzerland, including at Art Basel Unlimited.

The installation is comprised of a wide tube hung at eye level surrounded by portrait drawings of babies and elderly men. Visitors can look through the pipe using binoculars. Inside, a small light bulb illuminates the scene of a cozy furnished room. In terms of the well-known metaphor “the light at the end of the tunnel” Pepperstein and Anufriev reinterpreted an ordinary object as a much more significant and sophisticated thing: as an attempt to find out what is at “the end”. The installation gives everyone the opportunity to pass along the Alley and momentarily come close to the final moment, which seems to be a quiet, beautiful, perfect place. But make only one step to the side, and this little paradise will disappear, revealing the mythological figure of the “Kolobkovost” or “Escape”, a recurring theme in the aesthetics of the Moscow conceptual school. The installation reflects the ideas and concepts of Medical Hermeneutics, and in particular is connected with the art movement of psychedelic realism. Articulating such categories as distance, time and disappearance, the artists reduced their size to infinity and embody a conceptual view of issues of life, death and immortality. This idea is revealed in the portrait gallery of the elderly men, whose ages reach astronomical numbers, and their infant counterparts, whose ages impossibly span backwards into minus figures, before they could be born. The Medical Hermeneutic group’s characters are outside of the past and future. They are the embodiment of eternity.

There is another concept of the project which refers to the well-known Russian expression “what’s down that is on the top”. Being kind of a guide between people and earth (like the sewer, water, oil or gas pipes around us) the installation connects people with Heaven, in Pepperstein’s own words, by a “sewerage of thought.”