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.
Wave of the hand
Perhaps this is one of the first gestures that are taught in childhood. «Petya, wave your uncle good bye.» And the kid raises his hand over his head.
An atrophied attempt to grab, hold and not let go of the elusive object of farewell.
You can say, for example, «Sovoke in us is eternal» or, on the contrary, «we have already said goodbye to the Soviet era» or, for example, «the war has never ended.» You can endlessly analyze history or just live, experience and move to a new stage. I get stuck in the Soviet past, because, probably, my childhood fell on its sunset, which left very vivid memories, that you can only get in childhood.
Jubilant crowds at demonstrations, pioneer lines, noisy family feasts.
People from the past are not at all the same as from the present. I find in old photographs, some fleeting flashes, particles of these childhood memories, whether they are idols of a bygone era or nameless oilmen.
To stop an instant or to release it?
Smiling faces, people waving his or saying goodbye. Sometimes unexpectedly freezing in statics with «seg heil» and causing a feeling of some kind of danger. The totalitarian spirit of the of communism’s ghost imperceptibly, but subtly poisons everything around it. This feeling disappears, I remember, a little later, when there was some clarity that everything is a lie and there is a difference between what we were told in school, saw on TV and what was really happening.
2017. Fine Art, Moscow. Russia.
A little bit of heat
The example and experience of other people have the greatest impact on us. In the stressful situation of a round patch, we can remember all those who feel worse than us at this moment, so as not to indulge in deconstructive self-pity and all those who found the strength to overcome the circumstances, to draw on these forces and be inspired.
I built my project on the real words of people who even in the face of death find the strength to smile. I asked to remember least one happy moment not of the «past» life before the illness, but this life, now. When all the forces go to survival, when the body is dried out with medicine, when a lot becomes no longer important. Anyway, there is at least one moment when something pleases you. Sun, a loved one, autumn leaves or a cat, that came to you. At exactly this moment, I asked them to concentrate.
And yes, the results of the survey struck me. Not because I heard some unusual words, but on the contrary, for some reason it struck me with predictable and expected consistency. Pets, loved ones, books, kind words are something that can give a little happiness and warm in difficult moments. It is so simple. And sometimes is not enough...
2017. Stella Art Foundation. Moscow. Russia.
As I known in psychology Elisabeth Kubler-Ross identified five stages of grief, loss of a loved one. This principle applies to the acceptance of any other unexpected events. Stage 2 - aggression. 5th stage - acceptance. According to statistics, only 2% of people are going through 5th stage.
Loss... Sometimes we all lose something, someone ...
We tried to ignore the fact that leads us to the unpleasant thoughts ...
We throw away unnecessary things, get rid of unwanted habits.
In my life there is no more TV, and I do not know what a «nail-biting» is. The word «nail-biting» is stricken out from my vocabulary! I cross out «affection»... What else we’ve got unnecessary? That else is hard to think about? Ah, it’s «respect», «freedom», i cross them out too.
We do not let into our life unwanted people.
Sometimes, while being closely together we may not exist for each other. If that is not enough, we cross out the people from our lives, especially if they do something wrong.
People are dye... We cross out the memory of them, so we do not hurt or, or cross out the love for life in memory of the departed.
It’s the illusion of comfort. Emptiness, absence of stimulus. We minimize our pain possibly causing some to others. A vicious circle.
But (there is always a «but»), people do not disappear forever.
Why do I constantly feel guilt?
The fateful question of the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent the cultural process developed in it will succeed in mastering the derangements of communal life caused by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction. In this connection, perhaps the phase through which we are at this moment passing deserves special interest. Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature to such a pitch that by using them they could now very
easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. And now it may be expected that the other of the two heavenly forces, eternal Eros, will put forth his strength so as to maintain himself alongside of his equally immortal adversary.
Z. Freud. Civilization and Its discontents
Is our life possible without violence possible? Aggression is both a driving and destructive force. Without a certain share of agression it is impossible to break through, withstand and survive. What share can be considered acceptable? Is a world without weapons possible?
And do not we provoke our children by offering new and new aggressive toys?
The project is built on the contrast of torn out black-and-white photographs of PLAYING children and a colored background. When a photo is pulled out of the context, then the games turn into scenes of murder and violence.
Personal show. 2014. Zverev Center, Moscow, Russia.
Novel about girls
I think everyone went through it, feeling to one degree or another this difficult period. When the cozy peaceful happy childhood ended and the war with the whole world began. When mom and dad, before be kind and caring, suddenly became unnecessary and disturbing, the teachers became annoying nasty reptiles, and their peers (except the soul mate) were simply enemies. I mean how hard it is to be a teenager. A teenager-girl.
The project consists of 2 parts, 2 time periods.
The 1st part - «archival», is dedicated to the memories of the «happy childhood» heroine’s of the story and includes a collage of both family photos and a mini installation in which the painted photos of the family archive (that adorn the walls) are interspersed with abstract flashes, symbolizing lost memories, forgotten faces.
The 2nd part of the project is an analysis of adolescence, a girl’s growing up period, a time of rebellion and protest. Aggressive actions in the pictures are accompanied by fragments of phrases of the personal content of the experiences of the heroine and comments by psychologists explaining the problematic of destructive, deviant behavior of adolescents.
In the signatures quotations from the works of psychologists are used Shmakova K.V., Andreev V.E., Schneider L. B.
2014. Gallery A3 ,Moscow. Russia.
Work nominated for the Kandinsky Prize. Personal show 2012. Zverev Center. Exebition of nominates 2013. Udarnik, Moscow, Russia.