mother, motherland, 2013

“Mother”, 2013, audio-visual installation in two parts
15 min., sound recording;
2 digital photographs projected through 2 HD projectors, variable dimensions

The artist went inside a monument in Kiev, which is called “Motherland” (1981) and is dedicated to those killed in the Second World War. The sculpture was designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich (1908–1974), a famous maker of allegorical monuments in Soviet times, and has stuck in the collective memory as an iconographic symbol of the Soviet period.

Her trip inside the sculpture was supposed to question the rhetoric of Soviet-era buildings through audio-visual means. She recorded the sounds during her trip, looked out at the landscape through the eyes of the Woman-Mother. “Motherland” is still looking in the direction of Moscow: in those times, the position (the direction) of sculptures was purposely ideologically engaged, so it opens up a space for interpretations of ambivalent experiences.

Photographs by Evgenia Levin and Kristina Inčiūraitė

“Motherland”, 2013, video recording from YouTube (found footage), 6 min.

There is another Woman-Mother in Volgograd. Like the one in Kiev, it is an allegorical sculpture dedicated to those who were killed in the Second World War (it is the most important monument at the place called Mamayev Kurgan), but it was built earlier, in 1967. The monuments in Kiev and Volgograd were designed by the same sculptor.

Totally by accident, the artist came across a clip on YouTube filmed by a Russian girl, in which she tries to capture the surroundings of this sculpture in Volgograd. Inčiūraitė noticed the time when the clip was put on the website: the girl must have visited the monument at the same time that Inčiūraitė was in Kiev, when the anniversary of the end of the Second World War was being celebrated. Exhausted by the sun and by the slow climb up towards the monument, the author of the clip is rushing about with her camera. The unimpressive, chaotic and even senseless content of the filmed material is juxtaposed with Inčiūraitė’s audio-visual installation in two parts called “Mother” (2013).