A Dark Room is a place where person can "develop" himself, like in the photographic process. One can be compared with the sheet of white paper on which shadows or images suddenly start to appear. Or maybe they are not there. You are both a chemical mixture and a development at the same time. Such alchemy is possible here.
Tatiana Yakovleva, curator: In-Out Performance, for me, is a labyrinth with three entrances and three exits divided by a space of darkness and questions. Let's take A Dark Room. Is it you who are in the room, or is the room in you? I was face to face with my own inner voice chatting so persistently and for a long time, chatting and chatting with me. It also turned out that one can reveal a mass of outside world sounds, transformed into a finely chopped DJ set while staying in the dark space during the process of listening to yourself.
Ulyana Lovchikova, participant of the performance: At the day of performance, I was full of thoughts like "oh, now I will hear everything", "wait, I will make such a great route". And indeed, while walking from the Patriarch Ponds, I heard all sorts of sounds – a saxophone, some ducks, the sounds of a building site. It was as if everyone knew what route I was on and tried to help me with all kinds of sounds. But as soon as we sat in the room, headphones in our ears, I realized that time runs differently here: actually, it was an internal time. It was as if a black hole opened.
Irina Sevastyanova, curator, route guide. There was something like the sounds of a person screaming or talking in his/her sleep. And these sounds provoked a fear inside me as it belongs to the sphere of unconsciousness, as if you are opening the forbidden door at Bluebeard's Castle. To my mind, the performers were very brave to let other people enter into their personal field.
Vladimir Zhalnin, reporter: «You enter the dark room and hear the individual sounds. Some of them are sharp and strident, others are soft and pleasant. You can move around the room: come closer to the sound sources, or vice versa – move away to let sounds to be mixed and fill your head. Try to keep everything you hear".
Dmitry Efremov, performer: A walk is the starting point of the performance. You are trying to keep in your mind everything you hear on the way, making accents, writing down this background into your memory. But when you are in a dark room, you need to distance from the audience and the other performers as much as possible, you need to distance from surrounding sounds – many performers used earplugs for it. I tried to concentrate on myself and to overcome everything I heard on my way to Gnesinka. Being in the dark room is both a recollection through the memory reduction and a search of something that is hidden deep down in yourself. Most of the time I stared into emptiness and tried to reproduce it with the sound. For me, there were no specific sounds in the physical sense – it was more like trying to document the visual images.
Nelya Nasibulina, participant of the performance: It is said that someone else's soul is darkness. How about your own? How often do we look into the very depths of the soul, staring at unwanted memories? And how do we sound at this moment?
IN↔OUT gave me an opportunity to get to know myself better. I experienced something that reminded me of childhood – that childish babble when you do not care about what others will think about you. This was such a natural flow of sounds beyond my control – sounds themselves came from me, I didn't have to invent them. It was like a return to my origins and to the true "me".
Xingyu Long, composer: When I was sitting in the dark room and doing deep self-exploration (thinking, making sound), I was "In". At this time, we are inside of our own perception, and we perceive the world by perception. Until we produce the sound, or, in other words, make the sound an "entity" in a certain sense – at this time, we are outside of the perception, we are "Out", because we are "visualizing" the world, this is a process from silent to sound. When the dark room becomes a Whole, it's "In" for the outside world, and it can even be described as the perception of the room. And when the door is opened, "Out" and "In" are once again connected together, like a Russian doll constructing this world.