2016 | video | HD | aspect ratio 16:9 | colour | stereo sound | 8’14″
Motherland rises beyond the typical perception of ideologically burdened monuments such as those from the Soviet era. It aims at discovering a human story, understanding the personal behind the absolute and releasing the tension between our past and present.
The video was filmed at the Soviet Memorial in Treptower Park, Berlin.
2016 Hero Mother, Kunstquartier Bethanien, Berlin
Being a hero often refers to the past and is usually condensed in the granite memory of statues – but it’s also the most important quality of the present, the present of Motherland. In the video performance Motherland, the performer tries to adopt the details, poses, gestures, and materiality of the monument – trying through physical appropriation to learn heroism, strength or how to weep the future with honour. The looped video refers to an infinite number of such attempts. Sasha Pirogova
In the video-performance, Pirogova works in a very special location: the Soviet War Memorial in Berlin’s Treptow Park, which was completed in 1949. Designed by the Soviet sculptor Yevgeny Viktorovich Vuchetich, the sculptural ensembles and friezes arrayed throughout the memorial park strictly follow the conventions of Social Realism. Pirogova works with the statue of the Motherland, which is here represented as a mourning woman, weeping over her (Soviet) sons fallen in WWII. As in memorial statuary in general, this representation of nationalized motherhood remind us of female – mother’s – sacrifice: indeed after any war, women were usually compelled to mourning and melancholy. Bojana Pejic