Released last week, Kedr Livanskiy’s latest video, Kiska, is an otherworldly take on femininity and confidence.
Based in the Moscow outskirts where Livanskiy lives, the dark fairytale is a “message to everyone who doesn’t believe in you, to all the haters and good-for-nothings”, the artist told Dummy Magazine.
The video follows an alien, humanoid princess as she takes part in her daily rituals: commuting, bathing, and following a mindless beautification routine. As her secret fantasy life unfolds, we meet her alter ego, a pole dancer in a shimmering beige bodysuit performing in a seedy nightclub.
Kiska is not the first collab between Kedr Livanskiy (real name Yana Kedrina) and Konstantin Bushmanov, who shot her signature post-Soviet music video for Your Name. Despite being set in the grim high-rise suburb of Maryno, Kiska lacks the usual post-Soviet references and is rather a visceral comment on the traumatising effects of the beauty industry. In this particular dystopia, facial sheet masks serve as fem-punk balaclavas and absurdly long fake nails seem an invitation to reflect on contiguity and personal space.
Packed with allusions to Gaspar Noe, Petra Collins, and Nadia Lee Cohen, and fuelled by the playful and rebellious refrain of “kiska syadet na litso” (pussy on your face), this video might just be the controversial statement for Women’s Day 2019.