OZYMANDIAS: video demonstration of Eris Moreno’s works in collaboration with Josef Ka in Moscow CTI Fabrika, April 2021
As Percy Shelley’s sonnet Ozymandias (1818) says, the decline of political leaders and the empires they create is inevitable, no matter how powerful they were in their time.
We know of cases from recent history when world powers that were considered invincible eventually disappeared. As in the case of Ozymandius, we can find memorials and monuments today devoid of their original context and history.
In this project, I continue my research on the topic of decontextualization of such monuments. I explore the period of the end of the 20th century – the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many social and cultural changes that accompanied this time. Today we know only remnants of that history.
They say that history does not repeat itself, but rhymes. My work is centered on the iconic presence of history in our daily lives: constantly reading its symbols, experiencing them and interacting with them. My goal is to connect with this story and get new interpretations of it.
The trip to Russia allowed me to explore how the remnants of this country’s past are understood by people today. I hope that this is only the beginning of my research and that it will allow me to start an open dialogue and reasoning leading to different points of view.
Eriz Moreno (Aranguren) is an artist working in Spain and Finland. His artistic practice is mainly related to historical and political contexts and their influence on a particular population or landscape. In September 2020, he defended his doctoral thesis: Travel and photo essay as impressions of a place (United States of America, 1958-2012). Website: http://erizmoreno.info/index2.html
Josef Ka (https://eskargoeskargo.com/) took part in the video work of Eriza Morena.
Josef Ka’s performance is a reflection on the themes of the former pioneer camps, their architecture and their memory.
I was born in Western Siberia during the Soviet Era and during my childhood I several times attended Young Pioneer camps. For me it was not only a new experience of life to live completely within a highly regimented system defined by harsh rules; it was also the closest I ever came to getting a small taste of the realities of Soviet oppression of earlier Soviet decades.
In my professional artwork I create site-specific performances. It was important for me to be present in these destroyed buildings as a way of exploring and understanding how my living body might fit into the dead reality of this former empire – the empire I grew up in. I wanted to discover how my childhood memories – and my adult body – could find or invent an accurate choreography for this ruined place.
The principal movement or key physical gesture I adopted for this was circling. I circled in all the locations where the documented performance took place. In a ritual sense my circlings functioned partly as a way to rid my body and my memory of contemporary time and return to my childhood days – by spinning and spinning and spinning myself. The performance concluded at the moment I lost my balance.