About Fifty / Fifty

This installation fuses new media and traditional craft to tell a story of a Russian woman who pursues her dreams in the West. Tapestry is a hand-made unfinished embroidered canvas is based on a photograph I took to depict the woman’s idea of what she was searching for on the matrimonial websites. The technique I used, a cross-stitching, was a widely spread and up until the second part of the 20th century was mostly used by working class women to decorate domestic cloths for daily use or a dowry, or by middle-class women for their own pleasure and pastime. As an artist, who did hard labour on this art piece during six months, I could relate to the sacrifice and labour this woman had to put into her immigration process. The tapestry is accompanied by a sound piece, the woman’s monologue, which was restaged and edited to keep the woman’s identity anonymous. The sound piece opens up complexity of the marriage for the Russian woman with an English man and dilemmas she faces on her journey to her dream.

Working with combination of traditional crafts and new technologies, I tend to query a place of women in contemporary society within rooted traditions such as marriage and intercultural stereotypes. I am interested in how women from different cultures have been affected by new global developments such as greater and cheaper mobility, the spread of Westernization and easy access to information.

The video presents an installation of the tapestry with some extracts from the sound piece. The full length of the sound piece is 13 min, stereo.

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