Peter Belyi


Installation, 2019

Old telephones, wood chip board, nitrocellulose enamel

An old telephone as the start of a big game, where the voice has for the first time separated from the human being, and turned into a number. Blurred contours of the identity — who is crying into the receiver hundreds of miles away? The metaphysical state of words that have forever fallen silent, compressed by time, seeps through the earpiece of a silent phone as a thick black ooze, a stream of memories of long-departed subscribers. The conversation that seemed endless is over.

I scarcely guessed I’d ever need
A catalog of stars to read
Ten million phone numbers, each one
A world, mirage, or dying sun
A list of glow and scintillation,
Subscribers from each constellation
But there’s one star I’ve always known
And I will find its telephone.
An endless line won’t quell my zeal —
I’ll turn the alphabet of steel

I don’t know if you’re still alive

The earpiece sings into my ear:
“This is Alpha Orion here.
I’m travelling, I am now a star
I have forgotten who you are
I am the sister of the dawn,
Don’t dream of me, and do not mourn.
This star for you now disappears.
Ring me in three hundred years.”

— Arseny Tarkovsky, Star Catalog, 1945

Peter Belyi (Russia)

Artist, curator. Born in 1971 in Leningrad, USSR. He holds an MA from Camberwell College, London (2000). His artistic practice is mainly in installations. His works can be found in museum collections around the world, including the Margulies Collection (USA) and the State Russian Museum.

He is a curator of numerous exhibitions from solo shows to major museum expositions such as The New Blockheads at the Zurich Kunsthalle. His curatorial practice is focused mainly on independent art archives and on new artists. He is the founder and curator of LUDA gallery.

He was awarded the Sergey Kuryokhin Contemporary Art Award (2010) for visual art and the Innovation Prize (2014) for best curatorial project (in collaboration with Alexander Terebenin). He lives and works in St Petersburg.