February 21st 2019, The State Hermitage Museum, open session of wall painting THE NEWS, at intellectual marathon dedicated to Piero della Francesca


“The Annunciation” by Piero della Francesca is considered an angelic picture, but I have it always causes vague horror. One day – there are the same houses around, the same trees, the same people, the same sky – the News comes. It could be a man who brings it. Or a Postman. Or an angel. It could be a phone call, an email, or a paper from a government house. But Thunder’s calling, irresistible force. It is impossible to understand, accept, endure. No contest, no evasion. Your life is no longer yours, and it is not even clear if it is life at all. What can a person struck by lightning do? To live with lightning, talk to lightning, maybe even love it in your own way… until it’s all over. But it will never be over.