Aïda Ruilova creates short format videos with ambient sound, working in the tradition of cinematic montage. Through her editing, she composes scenes of incomplete action and suspended time that address the ambiguity experienced between moments of reality and the imagination.
In Ruilova’s films and video we are reminded that private experience is filled with fractured memories. Uneasy interchanges and strange distortions provoke eerily familiar, dreamlike discomfort. Gothic referents, from Edgar Allen Poe to B horror movies, are apparent in Ruilova’s work, which evinces Eisensteinian filmic techniques and an evocative quality reminiscent of the films of Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky.
Like the titles of her other work, Oh No, Beat & Perv, Hey, and You’re pretty, one is anything but comforted by Ruilova’s elusive narratives. The works share references to the global village and its messages’ intrusion on both the political and the personal “self.”
Sound is intrinsic to the work as well. A Cageian-analysis of the gaps between audio and video dispel any doubts that silence, as much as sound, plays a potent role in Ruilova’s work. Real time is purposefully fragmented and compressed—short jolts play against stretched-out time. Sound and spoken word are wedded to uneasy movement as the artist shares some private allegory that leaves the viewer confused and disconnected. While Ruilova’s allusions to familiar tableaus tease us into making easy assumptions, we are quickly thrown off balance by the next frame, or a sound, or unsettling text.
During her residency, Ruilova spent time on the South Texas beaches of Mustang Island. With her handheld camera and the assistance of a Titan Nova dolly crane—used for feature-length Hollywood films like Woodstock and TV’s Baywatch—the artist produced a 58-second video piece. Sampling visually from the ending of Jean Luc Godard’s film Sympathy for the Devil, Ruilova creates a landscape that is familiar yet forced. Combining the natural landscape of the beach and the Titan Nova crane as prop, the footage is edited to create an unnatural private space.