The subject of my final thesis (final MFA dissertation) was " Borders Migration Identity Memory ". On the issue of identity and memory I worked primarily with photography, installation and performance. In the last five years my research focused on investigating the personal and collective identity and memory.
I grew up in the Soviet Union where the absence of many elementary products, so-called Defitsit (дефицит - deficiency), such as exotic fruits, coffee, cosmetics, nylon stockings, jeans, chewing gum and many other products were hard to find even on the black market. I remember eating bananas only twice during my childhood when my grandmother brought them back for us from her journey in Moscow. They were green and immature, but if you've never tasted a banana how would you know what flavor does it have. You would buy whatever was offered by the market, even if it doesn’t suit you that much or just isn’t exactly your size. Therefore the unlikely and bizarre colors of lipsticks and blue and green eyeshadows.
My work consists mainly in bringing together a stratified personal memory of my various displacements, from Soviet Kyrgystan (where I was born) to the State of Israel to Italy. Over thirty years I lived through two uprootings, I have spoken three languages (Russian, Hebrew and Italian) and taken up three national identities.
In these self-portraits I’m facing the tangled identity of my multiple belonging, with an aesthetic that is affected by the cultural patterns of the various territories I have lived in. I’m playing with icons of utopia, with the imagery of the Russian dusha (soul); and up from this memory there sometimes comes the exotic and forbidden desire: the banana. A desire to eat and consume that is unappeasable in the province of an empire, because Kyrgyzstan is too far away from Moscow, the showcase of the Soviet cosmos. The hammer and sickle are rusty, hung on the face and neck as objects that nobody uses anymore, vitrified by the patina of time. Behind the simple peasant vanity, which uses beetroot as an innocent cosmetic surrogate, the vegetables hide a fixed idea: the pursuit of individual happiness.
Banana, or rather its absence representing a constitutive Defitsit (дефицит - deficiency), is an inadequacy defining the structure of my present identity.