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Sound Installation, 2017

The frightening black merging figures of people – lines in the blockade city. They weave between snowdrifts like snakes, or gather into clumps like plants. As if they were black blood vessels, they bubble with sick, tortured life.

“My father pretend to be a mentally ill child in the blockade line,” says Yelena Gubanova. “My mother picked him up and he screamed like he was crazy. But he couldn’t make anyone pity him…” The line in the blockade city is like a model, a mould from everyone and everything that is in the human being. Unlike a line from the stagnation period, for example, when not everyone stood in line for boots or sofas, in the blockaded city people “lined up for their lives”. All passions and fears which people experience, all social models of behavior, all tricks and deceits, weakness and courage – everything was manifested in these circumstances.

“The psychology of the line: people envy those in front and wish them all kinds of calamities, so they leave the line; they slightly despite those at the back. Sympathies and antipathies form, people resort to little tricks, help “their own”, make sure that the others don’t so the same. A system of numbers, checking, spying…”

From the diary of architect E.G. Levina

In this project, Soviet cloth bags hang in a line, next to eachother, forming a black mass. There is nothing in the bags. They are full of inflated emoptiuness, like bodies swollen with hunger. A great deal of emptiness. Emptiness like an empty stomach which obeys one desire – to be filled. And above it sounds the “soul of the line” – comments by Leningrad residents from the blockade diary of Lidia Ginzburg: simple, unpretentious conversastions about food (about life and death).

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