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Yanka Smetanina

 artist  |  researcher  | curator 

Common sense syndrom

The Flashmob «Island of the 90s», that recently swept through the network with great success and that was publicly denounced, showed how selectively memory works. How contagious mass memories are and how easy it is not only to manipulate human memory in a general wave of nostalgia, creating false ideas about an entire era, but also to rewrite entire pages of the story. As Svetlana Boim wrote, «Nostalgia is not just a buzzword, but also an important element of post-Soviet culture» «It can be a defensive reac- tion, a response to transactional periods of history. Nostalgia is looking for stability in the past that does not exists in present, it longs for lost adverbs and the slow passage of time».

The repression of traumatic events is common for human nature, as well as its defense mechanism, which is called «Stockholm syndrome» or «common sense syndrome», forcing people under great shock to identify themselves with invaders or rapists, to justify their actions or sympathize them. Superimposed on the romantic memories of youth, these ideas are enhanced.

From here we have so many, contrary to reason great a number of all kinds of Stalinists, fans of Brezhevsky stagnation and the same fans of the dashing 90s. Considering this phenomenon,
I wanted to stop on particular the perception of some kind of historical landmarks, or not milestones, but just the life of that time, namely women, at that time, of course, former girls. On understanding of the position of traumatic feminism, due to power, society or private situation, the experience of this time.

In his article «The Work of Grief and Joy of Melancholy», Alexander Etkind generates three main ap- proaches in understanding the trauma experience: psychoanalysis of humor, imagination and grief.
As you know, children’s injuries are tightly eroded, into the consciece leaving a deep imprint on life. But... a strong psyche, a small dose of common sense and we happily indulge in bright nostalgic memories.

2016. Ink, paper. «Raw / Boiled», MOMA, Moscow. Russia. 6th Moscow biennale of modern arts.

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