Artist Projects

Levsha (The Art of the Microminiature)


David Wilson

Levsha (The Art of the Microminiature), a 40-minute narrative shot on digital video, is used in the filmmaker’s Museum of Jurassic Technology, which features exhibits that may or may not be real as a way of questioning the authoritative role of traditional curating institutions. Levsha chronicles the long tradition of artmakers who work in extreme miniature. Narrated by the character of Olesya Turkina, chief curator at the Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, the film begins by relating the Russian folktale of Levsha, a peasant and craftsman who is able to shoe a dancing flea. Throughout the film, the tale of the ancient character is woven with meditations on the state of contemporary Russia, a tale of a modern miniaturist, and the inspiration for the Russian space program. It is never explicitly stated during the film which elements of Levsha are fictionalized and which are true.