Sunday, January 10, 2016

«Bakal»: site specific installation, performance, photo-sculpture

Finally, I completed work on my project «Bakal». The last parts of it are the performance «The dream», site specific installation «Quarry» and photo-sculpture «Layer».

Performance «The dream». Sleeping in the open grave of unknown prisoner of Bakallag labor camp (Gulag system).
This is the area of the metallurgical plant slag disposal in Chelyabinsk. In 1940s this place was the burying-ground for the prisoners of the Bakallag, mainly Russian Germans resettled from the Volga region and died of hunger and exhaustion in Chelyabinsk labor camp. Burials weren't marked, and the number of victims varies from 20 to 30 thousand people. In 1943 the part of cemetery was flooded with metal slag. In the 2000s, some graves have been excavated, and the remains of prisoners transferred, but the holes in the ground preserved from that time.

Site specific installation «Quarry». Stones, archive pictures, prints. 70 years ago the stone quarry also was a part of the labor camp Bakallag. The prisoners worked hard here, often by hands; the stones were used for the road construction. In 1970s this quarry became the popular holiday destination for people in the Metallurgical district. Today it's the fishing spot for locals.

«Layer». Papier mache photo-sculpture, 2016. Archive pictures of Bakallag prisoners, land, clay. The basis of the sculpture is a piece of slag.