The Museum and the Tikhaya Studio held an art residency

4 march 2024
The Museum and the Tikhaya Studio held an art residency
In 2023, the Gulag History Museum and the Tikhaya Studio from Nizhny Novgorod held a joint art residency with artists working with the theme of collective memory. The art residency resulted in two site-specific projects. 

Lena Lisitsa's installation "6609" is an attempt to artistically comprehend the Gulag History Museum's work on studying of mass graves on the former NKVD special facility "Kommunarka".

"... never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee" — these words from John Donne's sermon became popular after Ernest Hemingway's book came out, Lena Lisitsa says.

6,609 people were buried at the Kommunarka since 1937 to 1941.

"I let this statistic sound. My installation is a soundscape that changes throughout time under the influence of nature. 6,609 bells ringing in the wind slowly oxidize and fall silent," the artist explains.

The Lazarus Effect is an installation by artist Alexei Starkov based on the results of research on mass graves in Russia. 

This term is used when saying about the detection of plants or animals that were previously considered extinct. It refers to the biblical story of Lazarus, whom Jesus Christ raised from the dead.

Alexei Starkov compares accidentally discovered mass graves with the Lazarus Effect: terrible finds are often not only the result of a purposeful search, but also an accidental discovery. 

The landscape designed by the artist is dependent on weather and changes over time: from frozen ground to a spring thawing mess.