Moz­z­huk­hin (2008) is a per­for­man­ce instal­la­ti­on by cow­boy bij nacht, inspi­red by a clas­sic cine­ma­tic expe­ri­ment by Lev Kule­shov, known today as the “Kule­shov effect”.

Around 1918, Lev Kule­shov edi­ted a short film in which shots of actor Ivan Moz­z­huk­hin, loo­king into the came­ra, were inter­cut­ted with frag­ments of various objects. The audien­ce prai­sed the acting skills of Moz­z­huk­hin; first an object made him hun­gry, then sad, etc… 
 In rea­li­ty the audien­ce always wat­ched the same shot of the actor, in which he actu­al­ly looks qui­te expressionless.

Cow­boy Bij Nacht is curious about the the­a­tri­cal impli­ca­ti­ons of this expe­ri­ment, and invi­tes the audien­ce to act as a test person.

With this per­for­man­ce, cow­boy bij nacht tries to cre­a­te a the­a­tri­cal kule­shov effect, in which the vie­wer is con­fron­ted with his own ‘the­a­tre-wat­ching-beha­vi­our’, and becau­se of this dis­co­vers that this beha­vi­our is much more acti­ve than he actu­al­ly thought.

A good descrip­ti­on of what Kule­shov (i.a. tea­cher of Ser­gej Eisen­stein) at that time wan­ted to accom­plish with this expe­ri­ment, can be found on Ency­clo­pe­dia Brit­ta­ni­ca:

Kule­shov rea­so­ned from this phe­no­me­non, known today as the “Kule­shov effect,” that the shot in film always has two valu­es: that which it car­ries in itself as a pho­to­grap­hic ima­ge of rea­li­ty, and that which it acqui­res when pla­ced into jux­ta­po­si­ti­on with ano­ther shot. He rea­so­ned fur­ther that the second value is more impor­tant to cine­ma­tic sig­ni­fi­ca­ti­on than the first and that, the­re­fo­re, time and spa­ce in the cine­ma must be sub­or­di­na­te to the pro­cess of edi­ting, or “mon­ta­ge” (coi­n­ed by the Soviets from the French verb mon­ter, “to assemble”).

Moz­z­huk­hin is made by :

  • Con­cept, ima­ge and sound design: Arnold Hoogerwerf
  • In coo­p­e­ra­ti­on with Robert van Dijk and Alexan­der the Vree
  • Actors: Lau­ra de Boer & Albert Kleinkranenburg

Moz­z­huk­hin will be performed: