Art-Memory: Part I

The residents of a nursing home in Moscow live in a closed world where they have no one to convey their memories to. Russian artists work with their stories to reflect upon the 60s era in the USSR.

By Fund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Naumenko Ludmila Aleksandrovna by Olga RyabovaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Today the 60s seem to be one of the most romantic eras. As we get closer the Voice of memories becomes quieter, stories are getting more personal, even intimate. "I want to sing and dance", "I rarely like myself". The voice tells us about personal things, experiences and events. How close do you need to get so the voice of other people could become your voice too?

Crystal Room by Elena SkripkinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"Crystal Room", Elena Skripkina

There is a set table with chairs that the guests have just left. A chandelier hangs above the table and all the glassware refracts the light. The voices of memories come from the Soviet radio. 

From the interview of Alla Loskutova

I have always liked going to the forest after work. I always had a backpack, tights and a good little hatchet. I used to cut down Siberian roses or “Zharovki”. These are the most beautiful flowers, you can look them up on the Internet. In the village we would simply call them “lights”. (Alla Loskutova)

Crystal Room by Elena SkripkinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Elena Skripkina videoFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Panfundus of the 60s by Irina BabkinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"Panfundus of the 60s", Irina Babkina

Today we are so far from the 1960s that we can not fully see that world and feel that time without zooming-in. Thanks to our heroes we can zoom in, focus and extract details from the overall picture.

Panfundus of the 60s by Irina BabkinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

From the interview of Alexandra Kuznetsova

I went to work at a factory called “Svoboda” (“Freedom”) at the age of 14 and a half, where a very good soap was produced. Now it is gone because everything has gone abroad. With my first salary I bought my mom a very big Leningrad cake and a shawl and it was enough to give the rest of the salary to mom. She was crying and then scolded me: “Why would you spend the money on me?”. It was an overwhelming joy.

Panfundus of the 60s, Irina Babkina, 21th Century, From the collection of: Fund of cultural projects “Thursday”
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The first Soviet TVs were extremely small so it was rather difficult for the whole family to watch it together. To enlarge the image on the screen, people would place a special lense or panfundus in front of the TV. Filled with purified water or glycerin, it would enlarge the image on the screen approximately by 4 times.

The Lives of Remarkable People by Anna DmitriFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"The Lives of Remarkable People", Anna Dmitri

"Every person is a book". It is quite a cheesy line, however, it is possible to say that each hero of this project is not just a book, but an unread book, which is soon likely to disappear. I selected some quotes that I'd remembered the most from these interviews. Then I made book covers and placed lots of blank pages inside the books so that the heroes could make changes or write something down in order to pass on their stories to someone who are willing to learn them.

From the interview of Bela Popova

Our school was built on a rock and there was a sea below it. One day during our class somebody told us: "Whales have entered our bay". So all the students ran onto this rock to have a look at those whales. Can you imagine, I saw an actual whale with a fountain which was 20 meters from me, it was squishing and it impressed me a lot. (Bela Popova)

The Lives of Remarkable People by Anna DmitriFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

The Lives of Remarkable People, Anna Dmitri, 21th Century, From the collection of: Fund of cultural projects “Thursday”
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“The Life of Remarkable People” Book Series

“The Life of Remarkable People” is a famous biography book series that has existed since 1890. Each book is dedicated to an outstanding person who has left a significant mark in the history of the country or in the world history. The series shares life stories of a variety of people from writers and philosophers to commanders and rulers.

Over the years there have been more than 1,700 biographies released in the series and today its total circulation has exceeded 250 million copies.

The Scraps by Dina ChetvertnayaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"The Scraps", Dina Chetvertnaya

In the times of deficit in the USSR the attitude toward things was different. Things meant something bigger and weren't so impersonal. Many objects of that time have left their mark in a multilayer human memory and still keep both personal and universal stories of a whole generation.

The Scraps by Dina ChetvertnayaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

From the interview of Alla Loskutova

We lived in taiga, and my family often went to a forest “to cone”. There were many cedar trees, we went there and lived in a forest for some time. I never lived there for a long time, but my relatives could live in a forest for a month. We lived in an actual forest, we brought food with us, made a bonfire. Those who live in taiga are interesting people. Cedars were very high, I loved climbing on the top of the trees. There were always four or three big cones on the top, I always broke the top branch and threw it on the ground. I looked where it’d fallen to pick it up afterwards. I was 30 years old.

From the interview of Alexandra Kuznetsova

My mom and I saved up money for a fox coat. We were sewing it in the atelier, the coat was a sea-blue colour. When I put it on, my mom said: "Don’t you dare marrying some kind of a scamp" (Alexandra Kuznetsova)

The Scraps by Dina ChetvertnayaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

21 Grams by Julia KushnarenkoFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"21 Grams", Julia Kushnarenko

They met in 1941 when her father took him to their family as an orphan. They traveled half the world while the borders were closed in the USSR. They had three children. He died but she carried on speaking with him. And after 7 years his soul returned and settled in inside her. “Now I’m never alone, and I never will be.” she says. More than a hundred years ago scientist Duncan McDougall found out that after death our body becomes 21 grams lighter. You can believe it or not but when we lose someone truly close, we want our body to become 21 grams heavier. And those who believe sometimes manage to keep these 21 grams in themselves. This sculpture is dedicated to the love story of Natalia Karpovna Struchkova and her husband.

Julia Kushnarenko10Fund of cultural projects “Thursday”

The Landscape of Memory by Kate FinkelsteinFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"The Landscape of Memory", Kate Finkelstein

Human self-awareness is formed like a natural landscape due to the gradual informational layers and their diffusion. In this work I would like to visualize this landscape of memory at the time of its transition between eras. 

From the interview of Ekaterina Batkova

Yes, somehow I was always proud of myself, always. My mom was sewing. It was a big deal. And my sister’s husband worked at a floating combine in Kamchatka as an accountant. And he sent packages for me and my mom. He sent Crimplene and my mother was sewing. Well, he also sent us shoes and umbrellas. I was so proud, of course, I was walking with an umbrella, for example, if it was raining. I had a Japanese umbrella, a Japanese raincoat... (Ekaterina Batkova)

The Landscape of Memory by Kate FinkelsteinFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Substance of Memory by Nadezhda LisinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"Substance of Memory", Nadezhda Lisina

Sometimes things and photos that we keep have no actual value at all but work as a key to opening the door to our past. Black-and-white photographs, dried flowers, hair are woven into the jute base. The work is not complete because the lives of the heroes go on and the real events and feelings of people expand the fabric of their memories. 

From the interview of Alexandra Kuznetsova

You know, I still live in the 60s. I remember how we were going out, how joyful we were, we were joyful even when going for groceries. These are my memories. When I feel sad, I start thinking in such a way. Not forward, but like this. And I feel younger, I want to sing and dance. I want everything. (Alexandra Kuznetsova)

Substance of Memory by Nadezhda LisinaFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

I Am Inside by Julia KushnarenkoFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"I Am Inside", Julia Kushnarenko

Each person is a time machine, you just need to be able to find the right button. The heroines of the film recreate their lives with words and hands through forming their inner portrait. Only for a few minutes we are given the opportunity to see them as they see themselves and as they really are. With the participation of Maria Zhestkova. Starring Alla Viktorovna Loskutova, Natalia Karpovna Struchkova and Svetlana Dmitrievna Sinitsina.

Julia Kushnarenko I am inside videoFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

The Story of Alla Viktorovna by Shamil ShaaevFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

"The Story of Alla Viktorovna", Shamil Shaaev

For a blind person to read this text in Braille, the letters must have volume but this work is deprived of it. This font is similarly  incomprehensible for a person with sight. Thus, the story of Alla Viktorovna, whose silhouette is glowing in the middle of the canvas, is impossible to be seen with complete clarity just like it is impossible to clearly see the person.

From the interview of Alla Loskutova

I run very beautifully, you can film me while I run. I will run towards you in the corridor. When I’m coming back from the dining room and there’s nobody there I just start running... Deputy Director, the doctor, always says: “Shall we sign you up for a 100 meters sprint race?". I reply: "No, longer!". I run very beautifully, I rarely like myself, but when I run, it changes. (Alla Loskutova)

The Story of Alla Viktorovna by Shamil ShaaevFund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Credits: Story


Daria Dmitrieva
Valeria Zemskova

Ksenia Bashmakova

Sophia Afanasyava
Irina Babkina
Marine Bartosh
Maria Chertkova
Dina Chetvertnaya
Anna Dmitri
Kate Finkelstein
Anastasia Grin
Veronika Kalacheva
Natalia Koniukova
Julia Kushnarenko
Vasilisa Lebedeva
Nadezhda Lisina
Yevgeny Malyshev
Amir Mamin
Olga Ryabova
Shamil Shaaev
Elena Skripkina

Alla Viktorovna Loskutova
Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Naumenko
Alexandra Ivanovna Shumeyko
Anatoly Mikhaylovich Karpov
Raisa Ivanovna Dyadkina
Tatiana Ilyinichna Shestakova
Svetlana Dmitrievna Sinitsina
Nina Viktorovna Guryanova
Ekaterina Ivanovna Batkova
Andrey Andreyevich Bezverkhy
Alexandra Semenovna Kuznetsova
Bella Ivanovna Popova
Natalya Karpovna Struchkova
Tatiana Alekseevna Klenova

Fund "Thursday" Team:
Anna Semenova
Anastasia Kovalchuk
Nadezhda Ponomarenko
Alice Loza

Special thanks:
Anna Astashevskaya
Julia Kushnarenko
Employees and volunteers of the "Sofia" Foundation
Employees of Recreation Center for Labor Veterans No. 29

Volunteers for the Thursday Foundation:
Maria Aksenova
Anastasia Afirkina
Elena Goncharenko
Angelina Dorofeeva
Sophia Zotova
Anastasia Potekhina

Fund of cultural projects “Thursday”

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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