Pavel Olegovich Semchenko

Residencies 1999
with Nathalie Alonso Casale

Filming of Man looks at Woman, Woman looks at Man
1999, 18 mins, 35mm, b&w and color
Direction, Scenario, Casting, Editing: Nathalie Alonso Casale and Pavel Semčenko
Production: Titanic Production

Inspired by a story from the Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavić. Franco-Spanish director, producer, writer and actor Nathalie Alonso Casale (1970) created the short film Man looks at Woman, Woman looks at Man (1999) together with director, filmmaker, visual artist, founder of AKHE theatre and actor Pavel Semčenko from St. Petersburg. Consisting of a loose adaptation of a short story by the writer Milodar Pavić, the film is a sequence of magical-realism images. An early version of the film was captured by Semčenko and Casale on black and white 16mm film during a residency in the Center for Metamedia at Plasy. The film was finalized in Rotterdam on 35mm color film. The work premiered at the Rotterdam film festival in 2000.

In the beginning of the 90s, the authors of Engineering Theatre AKHE created a series of striking experimental performative films amid the anarchistic art community of a squat at 10 Puškynskaja street.
Alonso Casale has collaborated with the AKHE ensemble as a manager, and together they also made the experimental short film Siesta la Tetera y la Rosa! (1997) in Spain. In 1992 Alonso Nathale received the Golden Calf for Best Short Film at the Netherlands Film Festival for her Memorias Sin Batallas y Otros Muertos.

Pavel Olegovich Semchenko (b. 1967) changed locations many times in his childhood. His school years were spent in Leningrad, Kirishi, Prague, Baku, in the village Kadui, Cherepovets District, Vologda region. Pavel studied in Leningrad Intermediate Art School, finished the courses of the Mukhina Leningrad Higher Arts and Crafts College, The Serov Art School and The Russian Academy of Art. Also Pavel got a speciality of the mason and the decorator in a “well-known” Art Restoration Professional School №61 in Leningrad.

Pavel always was fond of reading of the Soviet magazines such as “The Science and Technics”, “The Young Technician”, “Technics of Youth”, “Model-designer”, “Technics Horizons”, visited lessons of plane modeling and karting in the of pioneers palaces and admired Perelman`s books. The innate impressionability and natural ability to keep in mind big figures would push the young man to all sort of adventures. In 1988 Pavel got to know Boris J.Ponizovsky, the brightest mystificator and the theatre theorist in the 70th – 80th. For a couple of years Semchenko was an actor of the theater YES-NO, but nevertheles continued his painting practice. Than together with V.Vasiliev and Maxim Isaev he created a theatre group AKHE on the territory of the art squat Pushkinskaya 10.  Pavel is still a member of the ART CENTRE.

From this point all creative realizations has been connected with AKHE theatre. The spectrum of these realizations is wide: installations, sculptures, mural paintings on walls in public institutions, films, performances, exhibitions, illustrations and even dance. The activity of AKHE since 1996 has shifted towards theatre and Pavel O.Semchenko as a part of the group has visited practically all large festivals of the country in Russia and Europe, both in America and Asia.