In Russian polemics, i hear about the exceptional nature of Russian soul.
It is a mysterious construct that only Russians seem to be able to UNDERSTAND. In this body of work I try examine this idea intimately closely. On one hand, I can claim having Russian soul of my own by my Russian pedigree, as well - I have an intimate experience of living Russian life. I studied Russian curriculum(literature, and histories), i have a distinction of speaking language first hand and understanding intricacies of Russian life and culture. Until recently, the idea of exclusiveness of one people over the other seemed to be outdated, a concept that the Western World outgrew after WW2. Sadly, humanity seems to circulate back to the same problem on a somewhat regular basis. It must be appealing to think that you are more chosen than the person next to you. In this scenario, your life path is more predetermined, the land is more historically yours. History is yours to interpret. Language and reason are tools, and no longer have a stable and universal meaning.
Current historical events in my country make narrative easier. Narrative is my primary tool, as it is often for person working with figure. Figure need a context, and images often become symbols. Historical event in my country are becoming so polarized making symbolism easier. Red means blood, red represents Soviet propaganda. Gold that used to sacred and was used in  icon painting to show divine, represent opulent leaving of the shadowy Russian elite, ironically well connected and approved by Russian church.
Through narrative I am also beginning to find a way to deal with my complicated past identities. Soviet personality is identifies as having a double personality, or a habit of ambiguous thought: “I know, that you know, what i know. We wink at each other, smile, yet keep quiet and say nothing.” It a psychitzophrenic reality, where what you say is not necessary what you think, and is different from what you do. It is real work to hide your actual thought processes. Maybe it is a constant structure of fear, that created humans not capable of compassion. Where the large portion of 140 million population seemed to be axillirated by an option of World War 3. So, warm up your nukes.
In the Soviet Union, history was hidden from people. The necessity of complete historical narrative is essential in order to truly understand events and people who experience them. Maybe my awareness of a deficiency in my own history is a reason why my work is narrative. Any narrative needs a beginning and the end, and for all the parts to fit together.
I want to communicate why the wholeness of history is important. I will try to communicate the unbelievable and painful absurdity of current events and their reality. I will try to communicate the degree of my hate for the brutal sadistic mentality of totalitarian governments, and my fear for the fragile idea of freedom.
[ statement is edited by Lucinda Berry ]
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