This is not (a) cinema

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    Gvidon Chervinsky (Agayants), Experimental collage, 1976, Copyright Alexander Shein


Past Exhibition

This exhibition was on Fri 27–29 Sep

V-A-C LIVE: This is not (a) cinema

27-29 September 2019

This Is Not (a) Cinema premieres two radically inventive late-Soviet artistic experiments: SovPoliKadr studio (SovPolyFrame) by Alexander Shein (1933–2015, Moscow) and the CentrNauchFilm (Centre of Scientific and Educational Film) by Vladimir Kobrin (1942–1999, Moscow). Both experiments managed to infiltrate their original briefs – of propaganda or scientific product – with formal, visual and linguistic innovations.

It was at MosFilm, founded in 1924 and still Russia’s most important film studio, that director Alexander Shein formed an innovative research lab. Established in the late 1960s, SovPoliKadr was dedicated to experimenting with visual narrative and multiple screen techniques. Short films were produced for official celebrations such as the Vladimir Lenin (1970) and Paris Commune centenaries (1971), or international events such as Expo ‘75. Seen outside their propagandistic role, they stand as exemplary works of highly innovative and politically engaged art.

Khanzhonkov & Co. Scientific Department was established in the early 1900’s to produce educational and documentary films. Renamed CentrNauchFilm in 1967, the studio pioneered widescreen, stereophonic films and new cinematic technologies. Working within the studio, visionary film-maker Vladimir Kobrin produced educational films that comment on history, science and Russian society in the 1980s and 90s. Despite being commissioned by scientific societies his films transcend the documentary, offering seamlessly crafted essays that testify to Kobrin’s science-infused macabre.

This Is Not (a) Cinema also includes a live intervention by London based artists Broomberg & Chanarin, with a live score by multi instrumentalist Peter Broderick. Adam Broomberg (b. 1970, South Africa) and Oliver Chanarin (b. 1971, UK) are renowned for photographs which use imaging technologies and found photographs to reflect on conflict, trauma and the politics of surveillance.


Organised with V–A–C Live, the performance led platform of V–A–C Foundation, founded in Moscow in 2009 for the production of new culture together with artists and audiences alike.




V-A-C Live - Friday

Launching the This Is Not (a) Cinema programme is a live intervention by London based artists Broomberg & Chanarin and pianist Peter Broderick.


V-A-C Live - Saturday

The V-A-C Live This Is Not (a) Cinema programme continues on Saturday, with Alexander Shein & SovPoliKadr.


V-A-C Live - Sunday

The last day of the programme V-A-C Live This Is Not (a) Cinema, with Vladimir Kobrin & CentrNauchFilm.