Art in Motion: How Artists Of Various Mediums Depict the Ephemeral Nature of Existence
Impermanence is a concept that is central to many art forms, including video art, photography, painting, digital art, and performance. Artists working in these mediums use various expressions of movement to explore the fleeting nature of life.

In this article, we will explore how contemporary artists, including some of the most renowned and established figures of the art world, as well as exciting emerging talent, capture motion in their art.

Video art naturally incorporates motion and sound and can be particularly effective in creating a sense of impermanence. For example, the artist Bill Viola's video installations often incorporate slow motion, emphasizing the gradual passage of time and the inevitability of change.
Imagery from "Your Time Is Limited" by Alex Simachev
Alex Simachev, a young and experimental video artist, employs dynamic movement to express his ideas and feelings about modern life. In his recent work, "Your Time Is Limited," a beautiful woman embodies the restless quest for freedom and love that drives the protagonist forward at a dangerous speed. Though she seems close and even touches him with tenderness, she remains a mere mirage, urging him onward.

Simachev's work features his own effects, including backgrounds melting into abstract light lines and unexpected combinations of rapid clockwise and counter-clockwise camera movements. Through his innovative techniques, Simachev captures the essence of movement and speed in a way that stunningly reflects the challenges of contemporary existence.

Alex Simachev's approach is at its core highly experimental and relies heavily on digital effects to convey a sense of movement and transience. While Bill Viola's work often features slow motion and meditative pacing, Simachev's practice is characterized by its frenetic energy and use of cutting-edge technology. Despite their differences in techniques, both artists share a common interest in exploring the ephemeral nature of existence through the use of movement in their art.

Performance artists also use movement to address impermanence; this art form is often characterized by its ephemerality, as many performances are designed to be witnessed once and then disappear. Artists working in this medium use their bodies to convey ideas about the temporary nature of existence. For example, Marina Abramovic's famous performance "The Artist is Present" consisted of her sitting silently across from visitors for hours at a time, inviting them to contemplate the passing of time and the fleeting nature of the human connection.

Georgii Kobiashvili’s visionary performances captivated audiences in the Russian festival circuit. In one of his latest performances, "The Mental Fight" (2021), Georgii uses contemporary choreography with elements of artistic fencing to explore the complex and often painful struggle with mental health issues. Through the graceful and dynamic movements, he conveys the psychological turmoil of the human experience. He also incorporates multimedia elements such as video projections, soundscapes, and interactive installations, to create a truly immersive experience for the audience. Georgii's multi-disciplinary approach makes him a trailblazer in the world of performance art.

Big City Lights by Sergei Vorobev, 2022, Acrylic on canvas
Sergei Vorobev's painting practice is mainly rooted in the canons of abstract expressionism, but it reflects the modern-day inner struggle and searches for truth. His fascinating painting "Big City Lights" contemplates the contrasting feelings and experiences of a contemporary citizen in a modern metropolis. The use of naive and hopeful shades of pink are contrasted by blacks and green-greys ultimately expressing the balance of these various exuberant and stressful experiences which comprise modern life. The relevance of Vorobev's abstract expressionist style in today's world, where people are facing emotional struggles due to the ever-changing times, cannot be understated.
Hide by Ivan Durnev, digital art, 2022
Ivan Durnev's works explore the theme of impermanence through the fleeting nature of personal identity. His digital art often features anonymous and indistinct figures that lack human identity, which symbolizes the way technology is transforming our sense of self. By manipulating negative space, Durnev invites the viewer to consider the ways in which social media and digital communication can blur the lines between real and virtual identities. His series "Hide" is a prime example of this approach, with the interchangeable interiors serving as a backdrop that looks more like a set for a fashion shoot than a real-life space. This amplifies the feeling of transience and reinforces the idea that we can craft our identities through technology. In this sense, Durnev's work is highly relevant to the contemporary world, where social media platforms offer people an unprecedented opportunity to extend and broadcast their personalities

In some cases, photographers capture moments of motion in their work to suggest the fleeting nature of life. For example, the photographer Eadweard Muybridge is known for his series of photographs that depict the motion of horses, which capture the animals in a moment of action that quickly passes. Other photographers use long exposures or time-lapse techniques to convey the passing of time and the impermanence of the moment.
Waiting, photography by Irina Purtova, 2018
In her series titled "Waiting," Irina Purtova uses long exposure photography in an unusual and thought-provoking way, linking the length of exposure to the actual length of waiting. Her use of long exposure captures the essence of time itself, making it tangible through the medium of photography. The backdrops for the unfolding of motion are commonplace waiting spaces such as hospitals, underground stations, and receptions, which are transformed into surreal environments through her lens. Purtova's work challenges the viewer to question the nature of time and the value of waiting in our fast-paced modern world.

Semen Ushkov is a multi-talented artist who explores various mediums, from works on canvas to virtual reality. His artistic endeavors are deeply influenced by his fascination with ancient tribal cultures and their rituals, and how they can provide a fresh perspective for modern Westerners. One of Ushkov's primary interests is how indigenous cultures perceive time. Through his digital painting "Island Landscape 3," Ushkov captures an idyllic scene that is blurred and indistinct, suggesting the landscape rather than rendering it precisely. This ambiguity may represent the difference in perception of the outer world, with tribal peoples focusing on energies and feelings rather than fleeting appearances, living fully in the present moment. Ushkov strives to convey this ancient but lost perspective through his art, inviting his audience to experience a new way of seeing and being in the world.
Island Landscape 3 by Semen Ushkov, digital art, 2021

Lisa Ericsson