Weekend Portfolio: Ekaterina Vasilyeva
Probably in every major industrial city there is such a place. A place full of determination to subordinate you to it, forcing you suffocate or even just disappear. In my hometown of St. Petersburg such a place are two traffic arteries or, more accurately, the Obvodny Canal and the Obukhov Defense Prospect which, if you look at the map, may well correspond to two sides of a triangle. And all three meeting points of the triangle sides belong to the Neva River.
This is the place which you pass every time you drive from the so-colled ''sleeping'' areas to the city center. Or maybe this place is not a place? A certain border zone—the District of the Obvodny Canal in the old days remained on the outskirts of the city and enjoyed the notoriety of a place of mystic. Regardless of such mystical glory, by the end of the 20th century and into the beginning of the 21st century, the Bermuda Triangle ceased to function and many factories, cultural centers, and even the Warsaw Railway Station disappeared. In the mid of 19th century the Obvodny Canal was connected with the beginning of the industrial revolution in St. Petersburg and in Russia. Now collecting my story, I populate this place with ghosts—found photos of workers from a photographic lab of an abandoned Rubber factory “Red Triangle,” which once was very successful and prosperous.
As the philosopher Georges Didi-Huberman said: “As far as the power of obsession changes the space, giving birth to a place, so the power of the place is reconstructs the obsession itself. By this point, we can no longer say that it is a ghost somewhere; but we are forced to say that everywhere it becomes the air itself, which we breathe and which secrete, in the process of especial breathing, the walls around us.” I can only modestly add that one of an artist's tasks is to question reality.
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