Controversial Dau project merges film, reality TV, performance, audience interaction

Dau, the long-gestating and controversial series of feature films, visual art projects and live installations by Russian director Ilya Khrzhanovsky has just launched in Paris.

The project has near-mythic status as one of the strangest and most ambitious endeavours in recent European film history.

Originally conceived as a $3m arthouse film biopic of Nobel prize-winning Russian physicist Lev Landau, it now “combines elements of film, theatre, science, architecture, visual arts and performance.”

The interactive event covers 30 years of Soviet history from 1938 until 1968. It features footage of hundreds of real people living and working over several years in a specially created scientific “institute” where they took part in scientific and philosophical experiments.

Audience members must participate by answering questions about themselves to generate individualised psychometric profiles. Each profile is integrated with a smartphone which gives the audience member a personalized experience.

Dau in Paris runs non-stop, for 24 hours a day, until February 17. It then comes to London in April, followed by Berlin.