LANDSCAPE I–II (2014–2018)

Photography, installation, sculpture, ready-made

In 2014 my husband and I moved to a family house where we were going to occupy one half, while my mother-in law wanted live on the other half. After several years of renting apartments which were mainly equipped with onsite furniture and kitchen utensils, our young family was hastily acquiring its own household goods. Meanwhile my husband’s mother was transporting to a new place her belongings that had been accumulating for decades: her own things, her parents’, and previous spouses’ possessions.

There were plaster statues, garden sculptures, dried crocodiles, samovars, a home library and hundreds of videotapes, a collection of samurai swords and on top of that dozens of kilos of shoes and clothes, including unworn items with preserved product tags. “Everything acquired with backbreaking labor”, as my mother-in-law used to repeat. Things were accommodated on the floor in a room of my future studio. Someone else’s possession experience was collected in one space and partially sealed in a hundred and fifty plastic bags. It reminded me either of a prop-shop place or a warehouse of forgotten items.

Gradually, these things spread on to other rooms invading space with their estrangement and extravagance. I resisted this experience by hiding the souvenirs given to me into the depth of wardrobes, secretly throwing them away or moving objects that were haunting me from one place to another. I was frantically clearing away my studio environment, but in the end, I accepted the diversity of other people’s archives. They became the landscape of our family life.

My husband and I divorced in 2018. For several months before moving to a new city I continued living in the house of my mother-in-law. At that period, I observed the space around as a place that ceased to be my own and was gradually turning into something alien or the Other. During that turbulent time, I constructed new scenes out my own belongings in the rooms of my ex-house, thus travelling across memory landscapes and trying to get over this separation.