TO GROW FROM THE GRASS I LOVE | 2013—2015

I bequeathe myself to the dirt, to grow from the grass I love;

If you want me again, look for me under your boot-soles.

Walt Whitman, «Starting from Paumanok»


The garden determined many years of my family’s life. There was time when our livelihood directly depended on own land plot, and everything existed round it and for the sake of it. For each generation of my relatives the garden was a place of a hard work on the land. When my mother, my sister and I moved from Kazakhstan to Russia after divorce of my parents, relations with earth remained only thing that continued to connect parts of our divided family and formed my understanding of origins. On new place, in Ural town Kasli, I also was occupied with watering of vegetable bed in the garden, and my grandmother, father’s mother, wrote me the letters from Kazakhstan, in each of which told how tomatoes grew in her greenhouse.

Beginning of multi-day experiment on cultivation of living vegetables and flowers through obviously lifeless (the family pictures which have been made in the garden), I hoped to restore the feeling of the earth lost with deaths of my father and both grandmothers. For a long time I thought this project will have an open ending. I didn’t know what will win. Pictures? Plants? However the earth won against all. It transferred the seedling to the natural medium and absorbed the photos. They didn’t destroy, they didn’t erase. They nullified. But we are those who fills the earth with energy and gives it the memory. Even if it seems that our relations with land are lost.

2013