Here it was quiet, dark and dusty. A decrepit old soldier wearing the uniform of the Preobrazhenksy Regiment and a three-cornered hat was dozing by a low, half-open door, leaning on a long flintlock rifle. This was the Department of Defensive Magic, where for a long time now the staff had not included a single living person. In their day all of our old-timers, with the possible exception of Fyodor Simeonovich, had shown some enthusiasm for this division of magic. Ben Bezalel had made successful use of the Golem in palace coups; the clay monster, indifferent to bribes and impervious to poisons, had guarded the laboratories and with them the imperial treasure house. Giuseppe Balsamo had created the first flying-broom squadron, which had given a good account of itself in the battlefields of the Hundred Years’ War. But the squadron had fallen apart fairly quickly: some of the witches had married and the others had tagged along with the German cavalry regiments as camp followers.
RESEARCHERS AND WORKS IN THIS INSTITUTE
1 Dimitri Venkov (in collaboration with Antonina Baever), Like the Sun, 2013. HD video, color, sound, approx. 58 minutes. Coproduced by Triumph Gallery, Moscow. Commissioned by Bergen Assembly 2013.
2 Pedro Gomez-Egana, The Chariot of Greenwich, 2013. Wood, aluminum, pendulum, rope, DC motor, 170 x 120 x 120 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by Bergen Assembly 2013.
3 Roee Rosen, Maxim Komar-Myshkin and The Buried Alive Group: A Manifesto and 6 Videos (2004–2010), 2013. Multichannel videos, color, sound, wall text, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Bergen Assembly 2013
4 a Clemens von Wedemeyer, Against Death (The Fourth Wall), 2009. 35-mm film transferred to HD video, color, sound, 9 minutes, loop. Courtesy of KOW, Berlin, and Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris.
b Clemens von Wedemeyer, How to Deal with the Uncontacted? (The Fourth Wall), 2009. HD video, color, sound, 35 minutes, loop. Courtesy of KOW, Berlin, and Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris.
5 Stephan Dillemuth, Department of surv31llanc3&3ncr1pt10n, 2013. Installation, dimensions variable. Commissioned by Bergen Assembly 2013.