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Like a Bauhausian theatre, Stas Orlovski uses shape, light, shadow, and sound as narrative construct. Orlovski’s installation Skazka, now on view at Young Projects, incorporates silhouettes of bodies, birds, leaves, and waterfalls, all projected onto larger than life-sized cutouts that parallel the shapes. Sound, composed by Steve Roden, creates a harmonious, intimate environment.
In the past, Orlovski has combined imagery appropriated from Russian children’s books and Victorian-era illustrations with collages. The immersive experience of Skazka more profoundly and viscerally evokes the melancholy of his flat, wall-based works. In Figure with Waterfall, for instance, a female silhouette hovers at the edge of a waterfall, then later tumbles forward and disappears. Projected onto a freestanding headless torso, the work is unsettling and tragic—but enticing in its elegance.
The works are most successful when they allude to rather than illustrate Orlovski’s point: that what goes on in the head is also felt in the body and the heart. This is suggested somewhat didactically in Head, a dream-like animation projected onto a head, the work’s magical realism undermined by its scale. While the work does challenge the intellect, it permeates most deeply on unconscious and emotional levels.
Stas Orlovski: Composition with Figures and Mirror runs from September 17–February 6, 2016 at Young Projects (8687 Melrose Ave, Space B230, West Hollywood, CA 90069)