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Topics - MashkaShvybz4

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помните (Remember)

Last summer, whilst researching for a writing project based around the relationships between sisters, I remembered the Romanovs. I knew little of them then besides their tragic fate and so one day I typed 'The Romanov family' into Google and, without knowing at the time, it was a sliding door moment which has altered me in many ways.
After several months of research now, I feel I know them personally: know their likes and dislikes, their virtues and flaws; know how they would greet me if I met them, and that it isn't impossible that someday that could happen; that somewhere out there they are alive just as I am, because they are just as alive to me now as any living person I can see around me.
I wanted to do something to strengthen their memory and so i decided that the best way for me to do this would be to dedicate my final major project of my college art course to them. I wanted to create an installation that commemorated the girls and Alexei in particular because I feel i have the most synergy with them, being within their age range, as well as other reasons.
I wanted to post the outcome up here because I am very interested in learning the thoughts and reactions of people who nurture the same strong passion for the family and this nugget of history. Therefore, I would be extremely grateful to receive any feedback from you. Thank you,



'Remember' aims to memorialise the children of the last Tsar of Russia by presenting an immersive environment from which viewers can form a vivid concept of the family's reality. It also strives to highlight the juxtaposition between the objectified monarchs or saints they were viewed and are still remembered as being and the ordinary family they were at heart. With this installation I am attempting as well to bring the past back into the present through the contrast between the modern layout and vintage elements that combine to create it.
I feel that I have been successful with achieving these principle aims. I managed to execute each part with precision and care and assemble the final piece I envisaged.

The breakfast table (1) acts as the primary element of the installation. I used the photos which the girls took of each other as they sat around a table one day in 1917, and scaled and cropped them accordingly in order to print life-sized versions of them and create an almost panoramic effect around a real table with crockery.
I wanted the table to be a representation, not a reproduction of the real one, and so the plain crockery goes a way in creating this effect.

Each sister has placed in front of them on their print a handcrafted concertina book, made from deconstructed vintage novels. Their Russian signatures have been imprinted by hand with liquid gold leaf. Inside, each book acts as a compressed compilation of facts and corresponding photos personal to each girl, to give viewers who are interested in learning more about them the opportunity to do so.
I wanted my installation to have several layers: to have a striking semblance at first sight and then for each added element to give some further context, and these books act as the final and most in-depth part of this spectrum.

The text embroidered into the tablecloth is a statement given by one of the guards of the Ipatiev House. The last sentence is left undone for symbolic purposes: in Russian Orthodox burial tradition, a deceased person is dressed in slightly unfinished clothing, with the purpose of this being for it to be completed in the next life. These end lines describe a thought considered by the guard but never acted on. In this way, it is in both ways incomplete.
It has further relevance in regard to symbolism as well, as the girls were brought up to never sit idly, to always have a piece of clothing to mend or embroidery to work on.

On the computer screen, a compilation of footage of the family is presented on loop (2). A piece of music also plays called the Cherubic Hymn, which serves to reinforce the strangeness of glorifying or stigmatising individuals who are no different from you and I, which continues to happen in modern celebrity culture today.
The same concept is communicated through the icons presented on the left wall (4). They combine the casual poses the girls take on in the life-sized prints with the glorification of Byzantine iconography. I placed them on the wall directly facing the table setting to further promote the message the icons themselves serve to communicate.

For Alexei, an attempt is made, with the help of the viewers, to fulfil his desire of a small monument of stones to be build in his memory, as well as that of his parents and sisters, by asking viewers to write their own commemorative messages on one of the pebbles provided, which will collectively go toward creating a stone cairn (3) after the time of the exhibition. This gives an outlet to communicate what has been gained from this instruction.

Lastly, a second life-sized print is presented on the outside wall (5). With some effort, you can imagine the four of them amongst the company of those in the studio, who are living one hundred years later.

The Imperial Family / Defining OTMA - Suggestions Anyone?
« on: April 17, 2015, 05:13:14 PM »
Hello there all,

*firstly, I'm sorry if this is wrong to start a new subject for something like this! I just didn't know how else to do it*

I am currently working on an installation piece around OTMA for my art college final major project and am experimenting just now with a concept involving photography.
I had the idea of creating sixteen images in monochrome, four photos for each sister that collectively sum them up as individuals, and collating them into a printed book.
These are the ideas I have just now below, but I'm finding it surprisingly difficult!

Olga - 1.books/poetry; 2.piano; 3.the sky; (maybe politics/newspapers?)
Tatiana -; 2.nursing; 3.embroidery; 4.conversation/4.organisation
Maria -; 2.perfume; 3.children; 4.flirting
Anastasia - 1.sweets; 2.pranking; *and i don't know why, but I literally cannot think of anything else! I feel so bad, but I just can't! Sweets and pranking seem to sum Shvybz up nicely on their own :P haha!* (maybe Jimmy?) it's a shame I can't think of a way to visually communicate charisma!

Please help me by suggesting anything you think would be more appropriate, either to add or take away. Thank you so much! I really appreciate all your help.

Hello, I was wondering if anyone would be able to tell me when Alexei wrote that he knew the future was not bright for his father and himself but that he hoped they would spare his mother and sisters lives? Was it in Tobolsk or Ekaterinburg, or earlier? I remember reading it somewhere, I think maybe in one of Rappaport's books but I can't find it again! Thank you for your help!

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