Memory upgrade by Liudmila Belova

My project “Memory Upgrade” (“Апргейд памяти”) consists of 5 video interviews. All of the interviewees are eyewitnesses and participants of the processes that took place in the art of Leningrad–St.Petersburg in the late 80s, 90s and 00s. They are Marina Kaverzina, Marina Koldobskaya, Olesya Turkina, Ira Aktuganova, Dmitry Pilikin.

Before the Nonconform residency, I did not particularly try to comprehend nonconformism as a phenomenon. For my project, I decided to collect some interviews of people who were directly connected with some movements in the art of that time. Their evidence is very important to understand this phenomenon and further clear definitions. When Perestroika took place and the nineties began, such a mix began to take place, everything turned upside down. Here we need some kind of separate research that could describe what happened during this period from completely different points. The process was complicated, especially in the official-informal relationship. If the officialism itself has changed, it means that the unofficialism should have changed. But I can only collect the stories of people who participated in this artistic process.

Video still, interview with Irina Aktuganova

I interview my friends and acquaintances. I would like to make these testimonies because it is easy for me to do this, I have my own opinion and vision of that time. I realized that the characteristic of this stage is ambiguity, so I want the audience to feel that there was no such clear division into official and unofficial art. Everything here is ambiguous, there is no clear division into black and white, everything is rather complicated.

As artist Marina Koldobskaya says in her interview, there are currently very few memoirs about this turbulent time. In the project I ask questions about when and why nonconformist art appeared in Leningrad, how the artists achieved acknowledgement and organized their union. When was the “boiling point” of nonconformist art and when did it come to an end. Also, whether nonconformist art is imaginable today and what factors are required for its existence.

Video still, interview with Marina Koldobskaya
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