The film is shot from his window and was inspired by both the first picture in the history of photography, View from the Window at Le Gras (1826-1827) by Nicéphore Niépce (1765-1833), and the short story Des Vetters Eckfenster (My Cousin's Corner Window, 1822) by E.T.A. Hoffman (1776-1822). The latter tells the story of a paralysed man whose sole contact with the outside world is the view from his window.Kossakovsky made what he calls an 'accidental' film: 'We don't normally look at things that are right in front of us. This is in a way an example of what can evolve right in front of your eyes if you care to look. Somehow this realistic story transforms realism into the surreal, into the abstract.' From his apartment window, he filmed a few square metres of a St. Petersburg street, during one year of endless repairs for the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the city. Time and again, the street is broken up and repaved. The film always shows this from the same point of view, but with different lenses, at various times of day and in varying styles, 'realistic, surrealistic and abstract.'The title, the Russian word 'tishe!', is the only word spoken in the film. It means 'lie low!' be quiet and modest.
Courtesy of the artist and IDFA