Penrose stairs

AR video journey into the unconscious


Somebody is chasing me, I enter a multi-storey apartment house and run up the stairs. Something is wrong with the stairs — some steps are missing. I have to jump over. The higher I climb, the more missing steps. It’s scary that it’s all about to collapse. The one who ran after me is not there any more. I know that I need to get upstairs. And then I see that a whole segment of the stairs is missing. This gap is too wide to jump over. I feel fear of helplessness. And with this emotion I wake up. I’m 7 years old.

Penrose stairs. Nata Drachinskaya

I’m going home from school. Good day, not much homework — I can go for a walk with a my friend. I enter the lift. A big man comes after me. I feel that something is wrong with him, but I don’t have time to do anything — the doors closing, the elevator goes up. Suddenly, the man pulls out a knife and puts it to my throat. The doors open on my 6th floor, but he leads me to the back stairs. Terrified, I can neither speak nor scream. There is no one on the back staircase — it is not used. Then he makes me take off my panties. He pulls his cock out of his trousers. I don’t remember further. I am 12 years old. And this is not a dream.

Penrose stairs. Nata Drachinskaya

I decide it’s time to close the story of childhood fear of stairs. My house has 14 floors and a common staircase. My phone is full of weird pictures, like those childhood dreams. With the help of an AR application, I place 50 photos and videos on the common staircase. I move vertically placing photos on the floors and the application often gives and error. I have to go through the same segment of the stairs several times. Finally, all photos and videos are placed in AR. And I walk up from the 1st to the 14th floor — I record a video of the staircase in my house and AR visual materials. I reach the 14th floor — I find a lock on the door to the roof and a lot of light. I am 42. This is my art practice.

Penrose stairs. Nata Drachinskaya

P.S. December 2022. I have not lived in Russia for 9 months. I am against this terrible war. My familiar world collapsed and I collect myself anew. I watch the video, which was filmed a year ago in the house where I lived happily for many years, like a dream.

*The Penrose Stairs is an endless, impossible staircase. Its model was developed by the psychiatrist Lionel Penrose and his son, the mathematician Roger Penrose. It is a model of the stairs, where a person while moving one direction is permanently rising, and while moving other direction is permanently going down. Such stairs doesn’t exist in the real life.