Journey Across Russia: Swimming Against the Tides
Thanks to Oleg Buryan, Antony Malolin, Marina Moiseenko, Elena Malozyomova, Alexander Eremina, Nikolay Petrov, Simona
Ermina, Yaroslav Misonzhnikov, Maria Aprasidi, Marina
Tsay, Nikita Timoshenko and
German philosopher said: "The fish that flow the tide is death"
swim against the tides, and they are alive.
borders. I am artist and for me it is important to expand my art beyond
space and time.
where I live cannot define me. I am trying to define my personal border
I desire to be like flowing water.
has a bad smell, and flowing water tends to be purer and is cleaner.
September of 2009 I traveled to Russia and was able to meet people and
perform a collection of environmental art projects in several regions of
this vast country.
flight to Moscow I saw the Volga River, which is one of the longest
rivers of Europe.
The name of
Moscow itself is derived from the name of a river. My fish enjoy
swimming in a new territory.
artist Oleg Buryan helped me to find my way. He welcomed my arrival,
showed me Moscow, its biennial and told me all I needed about history,
life and present situation of this environmentally rich but challenged
world everywhere I see new landscape, new perspective...
My new frog
also jumped into the water of a pool.
location, I installed some fish in the river and carved three fish on
the rocks by a holy spring. For me these tree fish, were a
reference to the Miracle of Jesus
Antony Malolin and Marina Moiseenko accompanied me, and we visited
several museums and exhibitions.
my journey to the north and in St Petersburg, where I met artist
Alexander Eremina, his sister, and their friends.
artist, Simona Ermina accompanied me and suggested some location for my
I gave one
of my carved stones with the image of a fish to Simona.
promised to install this fish on the frozen river of Nava in winter.
already done this project in Finland. It is very exiting to imagine that
this spring, when the ice melts, my fish will carry my memory to the
bottom of Finland’s Gulf.
environmental art, I always try to involve local artists, and I am happy
that the order of universe and changing seasons will complete the
process of my art.
Petersburg I visited The Hermitage Museum. Beside visiting arts of
different nations, I studied the holiness of the female figures in the
art of ancient Persia. There I met Elena Malozyomova. She is very kind
scholar who sent me some images that I needed.
Simona Ermina invited me to an art event. There I painted faces.
Petrov accompanied me we went toward to North St. Petersburg, near the
border of Finland. There I carved my designs on large stones and rocks.
hammer and Russian sickle.
During my journey and on many occasions I saw this Soviet logo on the
my journey towards the north of Russia, and I dropped more fish.
Titova is from Murmansk, the most northeast part of Russia.
When I came
back to St. Petersburg, I installed and dropped fish on a little island
in the middle of the Neva River.
artist Yaroslav Misonzhnikov come there and assisted me. Very soon
his friends joined us.
Yaroslav Misonzhnikov, Maria Aprasidi, Marina Tsay, Nikita
wonderful day. After I finished my work, we had launch. We also visited
the city and Russian museum. Finally they took me to the local Academy
of Art. They were very kind to me, and at the end of day I said
the last day of my stay in St. Petersburg.
I went to a
supermarket. When I wanted to pay, my purse (all of my money) was
I ask the manager of the supermarket to review
the security camera. The one who rubbed me was a girl who was wearing
While on the street I decided to take photos of
all girls who were wearing boots. This was all I could do. The same
night I come back Moscow.
Fortunately I had
my passport, ticket and I have already had already paid for my accommodation in
Moscow. During the last three days of my trip, I had no money to pay for meals,
nevertheless I continued my works.
nature I saw a pigeon that was dead and more pigeon that alive
carved a bird on a stone. I ask Oleg to suggest a nest for this bird
in the nature of Russia.
have already sent birds to USA and UK
told the story of my stolen money to Oleg. He referred to this saying of
Kazanowa (17-18 Century) who said: If you are invited by the Czar (king) to
Russia, you are well paid for everything. If you take a risk to come by
yourself, be ready for troubles.
I travel to most
countries across the globe after invitation, though I decided travel to Russia
good reason. How I can be land artist and not see the largest country
who is a neighbor?
It doesn't matter what can be the cost and risk
of a journey. It is important that I am trying to suggest a better
world. We always can find solutions.
I collect some coins on a rock in forest and near
a Church in Moscow and could buy bread.
What can be difficulties; can also be a ladder
for more progress and good memory.
Now I am happy that I could use this story to
make a new art project.
When I returned home some coins were left. I made
art works to remember my time in Russia. I know that my art and my life
are truly linked together.