In Friday’s Web Curios we briefly covered DAU, an immersive cinematic experience which has recently taken place in Paris. The organisation behind DAU, the DAU Institute, has since announced that it is to come to London in April.
Supposedly inspired by Soviet physicist Lev Landau, DAU grew from a single film into what might be called a social test. Landau was given his own institute by the Soviet Union, the Institute for Physical Problems - which still exists today. The aim of DAU’s director, Ilya Khrzhanovsky, was to recreate the Institute in its most famous period - 30 years from its inception in 1938 - as it produced a plethora of distinguished academics and practitioners from a range of subjects.
Although the film was made without professional actors, the Institute’s residents included Marina Abramovic and neuroscientist James Fallon. The result is over 700 hours of footage, edited down to 13 films to be shown during this touring exhibition. This footage includes regular daily life and, indeed, there were periods in the “Institute” where there was no filming at all. However, thinking of it as a Russian Truman Show probably underplays the scale of the work and, indeed, the sense of immersion that the project intends to connote.
As Martine d’Anglejan-Chatillon, executive director, said:
"When people live together for three years in a confined space, they have lots of sex. I can report that. [There are also scenes of] people having breakfast, people cleaning cars, people driving down the streets or cooking or all sorts of things. There is no hierarchy there in the value of their actions.
Here’s further information alongside a trailer, from France24.
Russian Art and Culture has given DAU an excellent, comprehensive review here. We don't yet know exactly where DAU will be - given that it needs quite a big plot of land to hold it (Truman Brewery? Somerset House?) and will tweet with updates when we find out.