DARIA MAKAROVA         







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A RED WORD IS A LIE


2024
video installation, red couch, soviet embroidery, 14:19 min






The new video essay ‘A red word is a lie’ is a poetic visual study of contemporary Russia through the metaphor of a symptom.
It is primarily based on personal archival materials from Russia, Germany, and Turkey, representing different alarming traces of
socio-political breakage in ordinary life before and after February 24, 2022.

The starting point of the research is the court case of A. Navalny from 2021, when he returned to Russia from Germany after the poisoning with Novichok.
The devastatingly long announcement of the 'final' verdict is visually juxtaposed with the landscape that drags the viewer down.
Furthermore, such notions as imprisonment in a broader sense and the romanization of violence are being actively
developed through the personal video and sound materials of the author, streams of Russian nongovernmental media,
AI-generated files, and abstracts from fictional and documentary movies.
Apart from that, the color «red» plays a special role, referring to the Soviet and communist heritage
taken outside the initial context and subverted through visual poetics.

PASTORAL


2024
site-specific installation, premium permanent glass decorative Oracal, text in English and German,
size may vary






A poetic text, primarily in English, is altered through the mixing of Latin and Cyrillic alphabets.
It’s attached in semi-transparent Oracal-foil to two large windows of the Leo Schwarz Foyer in the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, overlooking the park
and the Stalinist architecture on the Roßplatz. The text is a personal artistic monologue about the mother tongue, music, contemporary politics,
and reinvention of own identity in the midst of the ongoing war that Russia has been waging in Ukraine for many years.
Despite the fact that the artist writes a lot about the Russian language, the language itself is physically absent.



KRASN'EN'KO
(SO EXHAUSTED CAN'T EVEN TALK)



2024

different types of wooden plates for furniture (hanged in the following order: 18-19 '2000, 20-22 '2000, 25-26 '2000, 48-49 '2000, 14-15 '2001, 16-17 '2001, 18-19 '2001, '?), steel, acidized zinc, print on wood, varnish, construction adhesive







In translation from Russian ‘krasn’en’ko' means reddish. This word is a literal quote by former Russian president Boris Yeltsin from 2001* when he succinctly
reacted to the new state anthem, which was clearly just a remake of the Soviet predecessor. In that one very poetical word lie pain and loss
of the vague hope for the liberalization of the new country, administered at that time by the young and promising president.

The work in progress ‘Krasn’en’ko’ is a grieving reflection (reference: gravestones) on the Soviet past of modern Russian (reference: ‘Я Молодой’ (I’m Young)
magazine covers for young people from 2000 and 2001). Apart from the post-Soviet heritage the culture and traditions of propaganda, which traces
could be found in Catholicism (reference: poetic quotes from Matthäus-Passion by J.S. Bach in collaboration with C.F. Henrici) are being actively subverted.

* – this quote was taken from a documentary film 'Svideteli Putina' (2018) by Vitaly Mansky



IN A MOMENT THINGS WILL CHANGE
(WITH ALL OUR SOULS, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE NON)



2022-2023
5 zinc plates 15 x 38 x 0,1 cm, black oil-based paint, acid traces, asphaltic bitumen, glue, sawdust, 20 sheet-metal screws, dead fly, Russian 10 rub. coin









Five dysfunctional zinc plates are covered with dry oil paint, which in its liquid form is used to make print copies, therefore their proper production is unachievable.
It is something that remains with you. A permanent malfunction of a body.

The dead can’t be discarded or forgotten. You live with them, sometimes even for them.

Cargo 200. The socio-political notion, originally a military code name, appeared in wartime at the end of the 20th century. A multitude of coffins made out of zinc,
packed in wooden boxes for transportation purposes. Lower speed of decomposition, no cadaveric alkaloid, no inconvenient ugliness, no personhood of
a formerly ‘valuable' body. Just tags and the gleam of metal. ‘200' states for the maximum weight in kilograms for an aircraft to transport the dead.
The notion, which was initiated more than 30 years ago, is still present. 2022 (1979) - ? (1989).


Can the late USSR be other than geopolitical, instead mutate into a sociocultural phenomenon?

Cargo 200. Also known as a film produced by the Russian film director Alexey Balabanov. Released in 2007. It tells a story of a rural city in the USSR during the times
of the Afghan war (1979 - 1989). Most of the characters in the film try to talk about such topics as love, youth, hope, and happiness,
but all of that works as ignoratio elenchi or strawman fallacy. Love is depicted through torture and rape, adolescence as a proposal to use
others for personal benefits, hope and happiness as being drowned in alcohol and violence.

Ignoratio. Ignoring as a norm. Governmental negligence of the past events and of life itself. Only (re)production of dead bodies driven by personal interests.

Empty space with zinc plates depicting landscape-like scenes taken out of Balabanov’s movie. Presented screenshots show no human images,
only their fragmented traces: a blood stain, a shadow, glasses with drinkable fluid, a hand, industrial factories, a transport system.
All the plates contain images that are flipped horizontally. All the plates are burned with asphaltic bitumen dust and etched with acid
to correctly achieve the purpose of further print reproduction and distribution of the final product.

1979. 1991. 2007. 2014. 2022. What is left for now? To still try, while being gassed by the (Moment) glue, to forget about being screwed to the wall.