Reflexion about the veranda, 2021
Lyudmila Belova
reflexio "backward, reflection"

reflection is drawing the subject’s attention to yourself, your consciousness, products of their own activity, and their rethinking
The most "homely" place in the entire building of the Old Laboratory is, of course, a bright, glazed veranda. It was part of the premises allocated for the apartment of Ivan Petrovich Pavlov. He was very fond of reading books here and communicating with colleagues and family. In the summer months the veranda turned into a dining room, the family gathered at a large table, guests came, long conversations on various topics were held here.

Here in 1935, the artist Mikhail Vasilyevich Nesterov painted "Portrait of I.P. Pavlov" which is now kept in the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow. The installation Reflection of the Veranda reflects the time when Pavlov lived and worked here.

There is a service on the dining table, the decor of which I make up quotes from the statements of Ivan Petrovich. In the table area an audio composition of the joint lunch and conversations is broadcast which includes Pavlov’s "voice". On the wall above the table, on the monitor screen, there is a chronicle of the 1930s which captures the family and the academician himself at lunch on this veranda.

To the left of the entrance is an easel with a copy of Nesterov’s painting "Portrait of I.P. Pavlov". By the window there is a small table, an armchair next to it. On the table is a flower and plaster hands made by sculptor Pavel Ignatiev. The situation depicted in the picture has been recreated. At the easel one reads Nesterov’s diary about the days he spent in Koltushi and about the artist’s work on the portrait. On the wall are historical photographs and a ceramic plate depicting the veranda and the area below it, which was intended for dogs to await a call to an experiment.

The entire installation is a memory-reconstruction, as if told from the perspective of a veranda. This is not a scientific, but an artistic assumption that the veranda is capable of not only storing but also sharing its memories, immersing us inside its reflection.

The veranda has no nervous system, but we feel, assume that such historical spaces have a "memory" of their visitors. What does this memory look like, where is it located, how to extract it, and on what material carriers is the consciousness of those who are no longer with us recorded?

For almost a century, Pavlov and many of his colleagues are not with us, during this time the science of neurophysiology which they were engaged in, has gone far ahead and the day is not far off when the words of Pavlov of 1903 will come true:

"The obtained objective data guided by the similarity or identity of external manifestations, science will sooner or later transfer to our subjective world and thus immediately and brightly illuminate our so mysterious nature, understand the mechanism and life meaning of what occupies a person more and more — his consciousness, torment of his consciousness "

Gratitude for help in the work on the installation "Reflection of the Veranda":
Irina Aktuganova, Anna Apollonova, Vladimir Vasiliev, Alisa Kanayan, Valentina Belyaeva, Pavel Ignatiev, Elena Gubanova, Maxim Kirilin, Petr Shvetsov, Susan Shvetsova-Katz, Leyla Shvetsova, Andrey Rudiev, Veronika Rudyeva-Ryazantseva, art-group "Where dogs run", Natalia Varayun, Irina Besedina, Valery Tarasov.