Kedr Livanskiy Ariadna

[2MR; 2017]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: raw, sacred
Others: Kelly Lee Owens, Carla dal Forno, Jenny Hval

Thriving in dust and distance, Ariadne’s sincerely austere beats and textures seem out of time, pilfered from the past, weightlessly released from decaying acetate. House is now an anachronism, a mythos to be appended with ‘outsider’ or ‘ambient,’ etc. It’s not an enclosure within walls, but an environment without; not a club, but liberated or discarded into the labyrinthine confusion of brutalist concrete confines — a crumbling city, streets tangled and gleaming in perpetual twilight. Ariadne navigates this maze, this entwined contradiction of a past promise and a present degeneration. What is past perhaps becomes past as such, not because artifacts remember Eden, but because we see the remnants of a past gleaming still in a decaying present.

Kedr Livanskiy (Yana Kedrina) describes this timelessness, this temporal division thus: it’s “like how one person can contain many different moods. The first half revolves around mythological thoughts and the second takes cues from the urban and suburban environments around her.” Also the golden thread uniting disparity: “all the while in the middle of everything is the hero who experiences real feelings and emotions.”

“The morning sun reverberated from the bronze sword. There was no longer even a vestige of blood. ‘Would you believe it, Ariadne?’ said Theseus ‘The Minotaur scarcely defended himself.’”
– Borges, “House of Asterion”

With the minotaur long since slaughtered, who looms in the center of the maze? Ариадна. Ariadne. Спасет тебя. Ariadne will save you. The mythological and the municipal. Ariadne, not the oedibull, at the center of the labyrinth — she who offered the simplest solution for the maze of the unconscious, a skein of twine. Yet the labyrinth still stands. She who gave herself entire, placed in the impossible position of choosing between her love and her progenitor. Self-sacrificing and in turn neglected. Myth is always already the liminal in-between of love and abandonment. Mother spider self-sacrificed and in turn neglected.

“I could not have been Ariadne; it’s all right that she gives herself out of love. But to whom? Theseus doesn’t tremble, doesn’t adore, doesn’t desire; following his own destiny, he goes over bodies that are never even idealized. Every woman is a means. I see that clearly.”
– Hélène Cixous & Catherine Clément, La jeune née

The heroes of antiquity rise to their particular splendor upon those bodies of debased women, who, giving entirely, were entirely taken, then abandoned. For every Orpheus ascending to Heaven on Apollo’s golden chariot, there is Eurydice in Hell. For every Odysseus, there is Penelope abandoned on her loom, forever weaving and unweaving. As well as “tant d’autres, dont les noms lui sont même échappés” (Racine, Phèdre).

“Vast—this procession of mistreated, deceived, devastated, rejected, patient women, dolls, cattle, cash. Stolen swarms. Exploited and plundered to such an extent. They give everything. That, doubtless, is their offense.”
– Hélène Cixous & Catherine Clément, La jeune née

Often, like Persephone, they are abducted while tending to the flowers in the field. Often, they become flowers. Like Eve, who despaired when flowers closed that they might not be graced with her tender touch, this angelic desire to give oneself entirely in order to consummate with the beloved, like spirits’ breath with no distance in love, this purity man can’t know, this grace man blames for the fall into separation, distance, loss, fragmentation…

“For example—Ariadne, without calculating, without hesitating, but believing, taking everything as far as it goes, giving everything, renouncing all security—spending without a return—the anti-Ulysses—never looking back, knowing how to break off, how to leave, advancing into the unknown. But as for Theseus, he ties himself tightly to the line the woman holds fast to make him secure. While she, she takes her leap without a line.” (ibid.)

“The nymph, Ariadne, is woman contained and silenced in patriarchy; she is averted from herself, continually spinning webs, remaining in the labyrinth.”
Feminist Interpretations of Nietzsche

Infinitely averted… Wonderfully averted… Silenced, she sings.

She sings, on the title track:

“A mountain brook in your veins,
You got lost in the tangle of bare nights

A mountain stream flows
Through your veins,
You got lost in the tangle
Of bare nights and cold days

You stand on the other side,
Your reflection still, in the water
Your cold hands and your songs
Heavy for awhile now”

Mother spider, she leads the conqueror into her web. You are the labyrinth, not I. I am your labyrinth. Be clever, Ariadne!

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