of movement and dwelling
Tings Chak, Felix Kalmenson, Faraz Anoushahpour, Parastoo Anoushahpour and Ryan Ferko
Curated by Farah Yusuf
Trinity Square Video
Toronto, Canada
January 13 - March 11, 2017

Neither Country, Nor Graveyard, is a video installation work consisting of a two channel video and a wall vinyl print. The work is centred around my migration from Leningrad, USSR and return after 27 years to Saint Petersburg, Russia. As I was too young to remember the city, I worked to negotiate its sites and spaces of memory through email correspondences with my family and our sole remaining family video as a guide. In 1989, the year we immigrated, when one left the Soviet Union they were stripped of their citizenship and had no opportunity to ever return. In light of this ultimate departure many families, like my own, hired a videographer to film them, not in intimate spaces, but in central touristic sites, in turn producing the subject as a tourist in their own city. In Neither Country Nor Graveyard I set out to create a shot-by-shot remake of this departure video, a process that is interrupted by commercial film sets, traffic, and transformations of the city's landscape as it transitioned to neoliberal capitalism. The work is inter-cut with ruminations by family members on the conditions of life in the late Soviet Period and images that signal the optimistic construction of a neoliberal global centre against the backdrop of worsening inflation and economic sanctions in contemporary Russia. This video work is paired with an enlarged vinyl print of a photograph of a storm in the Gulf of Finland in 1952' purchased at a flea market near the apartment where my family lived for decades.

Made possible with the generous support of: