NOTHING HAVE I EARNED...
NOTHING HAVE I EARNED.
Print on synthetic satin
150 x 220 cm, looped sound 12'17", two speakers, concrete, hypoallergenic silicone, metal, pine needles, rust
'Nothing have I earned…nothing have I earned.' takes its title and conceptual origin from a Russian song 'Kalinka (in rus. 'калинка', little cranberry),
which often is taken as a traditional folk song. However, this song is more than authorless nonsense. In 1860 it was written in a folk manner
the Russian composer Ivan Larionov. After that, the song also mutated into a particular type of dance.
In the Soviet era, the song was broadly performed by an official army choir of the Russian armed forces (The Alexandrov Ensemble or the Red Army Choir),
which provided 'Kalinka' worldwide recognition. The ensemble consisted (and still is) of a male choir, an orchestra, and a dance ensemble.
Besides the historical and political parts of the song, the lyrics were more than peculiar to examine. At the first glance, the content looks like a pretty trivial,
a little bit romantic song. However, the deadly repetition of the key line: "Little cranberry, cranberry, cranberry of mine!
In the garden
(there is) a berry – little raspberry, raspberry of mine!" – is mixed with the evanescent subcontext of death and peasantry.
Going back to 'Nothing have I earned…nothing have I earned.', the unbearably repetitive motive of the song and non-verbal emotional elements,
which highlight the states of devastation and loss, are extracted from the original and reworked in the melancholic looped sound.
Formally the sound is accompanied by the cake-like object of concrete and silicon and a textile flag/tablecloth.
While the flag is purposefully white, the graphic elements on it grayishly depict
the modern (pre)war state of social policy in Russia.
The only red elements
presented in the whole sound sculpture are juicy cranberries and raspberries made out of pigmented hypoallergenic silicone.