When Ivan Mishoukov was four, he ran away from home and lived for two years on the streets of Moscow among the dogs, which offered him warmth and protection. Hattie Naylor adapted this true story into the disturbing play Ivan and the Dogs, which inspired the writer, artist and filmmaker Andrew Kötting to make this experimental film essay. Here, Ivan is Lek. With the aid of cassette tapes on which he spoke his story as a child, the now forty-year-old Lek looks back on his time among the dogs, his later broken love and his capacity to cope in the human world.
From home movies to images of the cosmos, Kötting paints an associative panorama: the child’s memories, sorrow and experiences linked to raw impressions of Russia in the 1990s; the performance of a naked man in a desert landscape and psychological reflections on trauma and the urge to survive.
The film is 90 minutes long and will be followed by a Q&A with Andrew Kötting and Gareth Evans (Whitstable Biennale film curator).
With thanks to Jason Wood and HOME, Manchester.