Instability, Scattering, Wandering, Success 2022

Lera Lerner
Pop-Aganda: Revolution & Iconography
Video, pink fluffy bed, music

You are entering the educational chillout zone. A kind of lecture overheard at a disco. Here is a play for a video that is a polylogue of neoplasms among themselves. 


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other.

Key subjects: Non-normative physicality, experience of the other, otherness 

You are entering the educational chillout zone. A kind of lecture overheard at a disco. Here is a play for a video that is a polylogue of neoplasms among themselves. 

The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition. 

The author is grateful to Dr. rer. nat. Natalia Pashkovskaia for her help working on the text and everyone who took part in the polylogue with the neoplasm. The author is also very grateful to artist Bekezela Mguni and curator Anna Harsanyi for their help in choosing music for the installation playlist. Many thanks to Danny Bracken and the magnificent team of the Mattress Factory and our incredible curator Tavia La Follette. 

Artist Statement

I understand inclusion in a broad sense as working together to create conditions for equal opportunities and diversity. 

In my utopian project, I propose to critically rethink the possibility of connecting to the experience of the other and empathizing with otherness. To represent the practice of non-normative physicality and overcoming boundaries in bodily and mental experience through the ultimate reflection about the body of the tumor and becoming a body with a tumor. To see the tumor outside of common human ethics and mythology through immersion in the polylogue of neoplasms with each other. 

We fear and hate what is close to and, at the same time, far from us—what seems dissimilar compared to us, but upon closer examination, turns out to be consonant, with similar needs, a competitor for resources. 

This is a utopian project about the possibility/impossibility of accepting the other, about radical hospitality.

About the Artist

Lera Lerner is a performance and installation artist, an art researcher, curator, founder of the Imaginary Museum of Displaced Persons, and co-curator of the international festival of public art Art Prospect. 

Lera practices socially engaged art using an interdisciplinary approach and different media in helping to establish a dialogue between different social groups of people. She works together with homeless people, migrants, people with mental disabilities, museum workers, orphans, scientists, plants, people with postwar trauma, mushrooms and even tumors.  

Lera graduated from the Pro Arte Program for contemporary artists (2015) and completed the MA program in Biology at the Faculty of Biology of St. Petersburg State University (2012).  

Lots of her projects are collaborative and international. She worked with colleagues and with the support from Manifesta biennale, Grafikens Hus and LAVA-Dansproduktion in Sweden, CEC ArtsLink in the US, Ars Electronica in Linz, Pro Helvetia Swiss art consul in Moscow, Red Square Festival in Berlin, Agents of Change: Mediating Minorities in Finland, Kone foundation in Finland, Consulate General of Italy in St. Petersburg, Institut français de Russie.