© 2022 Maxim Timofeev

The historic 19th-century factory building was transformed into an art residence, spanning an impressive 10,000 square meters, with a vast adjoining territory. Here, beyond the numerous studios of artists and sculptors, one finds a tea room, a recording studio, a radio tech workshop, assorted rehearsal spaces, and even its own theater. Every corner is imbued with art: paintings, graffiti, sculptures, and installations gracefully inhabit the spaces, all bound together by the beautiful music of ongoing rehearsals and performances, intermittently inducing states of trance or dynamic meditation.

Each space in Guslitsa is its own enchanting realm, living by its distinct rules and exuding its unique character. As you dive into each of these worlds, you, much like an explorer or an adventurer, study every detail while concurrently realizing how your sensations shift; even time itself flows differently in each space. It feels like being inside a surreal video game: you discover messages generously scattered everywhere, and, of course, each unveils uniquely to every individual.

The most captivating part of this journey into a parallel world was encountering the enchanting magical characters that inhabited this space. In each interaction, I got acquainted with the most fascinating guardians of this Guslitsa realm. I was enthralled by their incredible paths that led them to Gus, their life stories, and of course, their crafts, which they spoke of with immense passion. It felt as though, in those moments, electricity would jolt, and the light bulbs would faintly flicker.

Often, stories would unfold before me like scenes in a theater. Once, while in the workshop, I heard a beautiful piano melody. Taking my camera, I stepped out and began to discreetly capture the musician. So engrossed was I in the shooting that I didn't notice the Tagansky stuffed bear sneaking up from behind, and for a moment, I couldn't figure out who was controlling it. For a few seconds, to me, it was simply a sentient plush bear, and being in Guslitsa, it seemed entirely within the realm of the ordinary.

The local animals are observers from outer space. The feeling that someone was watching and studying me through their eyes never left, just as the sensation that through them, directions and messages from a parallel world were being conveyed.

My journey culminated in an exhibition at the Moscow Central Art School space, for which I created several pieces while in Gus. I stayed in an artist's studio, enveloped by shamanic talismans, a myriad of statuettes of diverse deities, and an altar. It was there that I painted one of the pieces. You can read the mystical story behind its creation by following the link:

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