Between Heaven and Earth: an exhibition by Marina Fomenko
Opening of the exhibition on December 16 at 19:00
Center for Creative Industries "Fabrika" presents Marina Fomenko's personal exhibition "Between Heaven and Earth", which will feature video installations — At the Line of Oblivion and Next to the Sky, created by the author in recent years. Memory, hovering between heaven and earth, leaving and remaining, held by concern for its preservation, is the central idea of both projects made by Marina Fomenko in the Caucasus: Next to the sky in North Ossetia-Alania and At the edge of oblivion in Dagestan.
Memory places and places of memory, they are everywhere. Often memory is associated with churchyards. In Alanya, this is an abandoned cemetery with tombstones - masterpieces of the sculptor Soslanbek Edziev. In Buynaksk there is an old Jewish cemetery, where no one is buried anymore, but the Muslim woman Saida keeps the memory of the departed. In North Ossetia, the memory of the place, the native village of Soslanbek Edziev, is protected by an old Raya, one of its last inhabitants.
Tombstones - the legacy of the great sculptor of Alania Soslanbek Edziev are gradually being destroyed, but the memory is still kept. The Temir-Khan-Shura Synagogue and the Jewish Cemetery in Buynaksk still exist, reminiscent of the once vast community of Mountain Jews in this Dagestan city. This memory is still with us.
At the Line of Oblivion, Two-channel video installation, 2021
Guest (Temir-Khan-Shura Synagogue)
The synagogue of Temir-Khan-Shura in Buynaksk, built in 1861, is well preserved, but the sad signs of oblivion are becoming more and more distinct. Sometimes the synagogue opens its doors, and then guests come. This guest is special, he is an enlightened and attentive observer. He remembers and writes down the words in Hebrew and Arabic, studies the decoration of the synagogue, examines the details. The guest tries to imagine how it was here when there was life, and for a while fills the emptiness of abandonment.
Saida (Jewish cemetery)
Saida lives at the Jewish cemetery in Buynaksk, she looks after him to the best of her ability, just as her father and grandfather did. Maybe her great-grandson, who lives with his mother here, in the cemetery, will do the same. Saida's life in the cemetery with her household, geese, chickens and dogs is organic in her daily routine, where the customs of Muslims are combined with respect for another religion, and the cemetery caretaker can not imagine any other life but to look after the graves of the deceased Jews of Buynaksk.
The video installation “At the Line of Oblivion” was made as part of the project “Opening the Temir-Khan-Shura Synagogue” with the financial support of the Russian Jewish Congress Charitable Foundation.
Next to the sky, Two-channel video installation, 2019
Next to the Sky is dedicated to the memory of Soslanbek Edziev (1865-1953), an outstanding sculptor of North Ossetia-Alania, one of the most significant representatives of naive art.
The video installation combines movement and stillness. This is a dance in the mountains, and the last inhabitants of the almost abandoned high-mountainous village of Khod, where Edziev was born, and the immobility of outstanding works of art that are fading into oblivion - the tombstones created by Edziev in the abandoned cemetery of the village of Karman-Sindzikau.
From the text of the art critic, historian and art theorist Vitaly Patsyukov to the project Next to the sky:
"The artistic vision of Marina Fomenko is located in the border zone between life and art itself, freely flowing in both directions, into these two states necessary for creativity. The artist chose the near world as a space for experiencing artistic reflection - the world of personal testimonies and the world of the document, the world described by the English film director Peter Greenaway as an "intimate diary".
In the video compositions short in time, there is a deep tenderness for the person himself, for the world of his dwelling, for the touching defenselessness in front of the layer of society. The imagery of Marina Fomenko's video camera gathers into itself, as if into a crystal, all the diversity of foreshortening states, turning this integral into a kind of drama filmed by a natural "surveillance camera".
The project "Next to the sky" was made as part of a residence for artists at the Festival of Contemporary Art "Alanika 12" in North Ossetia-Alania.
Marina Fomenko is an artist and curator, based in Moscow. Participant of numerous exhibitions and festivals in Russia and abroad, including the festival of contemporary art "Alanika-15", Vladikavkaz (2022); Uneasy Fortress “We” after Pandemic, Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2021); Taiwan Biennale 2020, Taipei (2020); Ekoscope (Moscow, Taipei, Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk (2016-2019). Participant of film and video festivals in Germany, France, Russia, USA, Italy, Israel, Finland, Hungary, Portugal, Switzerland, Argentina, Spain, Holland, Bulgaria, Canada , Sweden, etc. Nominee for the Kandinsky Prize in 2010 and 2011. Winner in the nomination "Best Experimental Film" at the Ecozine Festival, Spain (2022), Festival of Nations, Austria (2020); Porto Femme International Film Festival, Portugal (2020); Couch Film Festival, Canada (2020); 2nd place at 22nd Faludi Film Festival (2019), Hungary; Honorable Jury Mention at 01 NFT New Media Experimental Digital Arts Film Festival, USA (2022); Cinalfama Lisbon International Film Festival, Portugal (2019). The Best Cinematography award at the Alternative Film Festival, Toronto, Canada (2021). Since 2011, Marina has been annually organizing the Now&After International Video Art Festival in Moscow and is its director and curator.