"Nostalgic memory is employed to connect the present to a particular version of the past. By establishing a link between a 'self-in-present' and image of 'self-in-past,' nostalgic memory also plays a significant role in reconstruction and continuity of individual and collective memory."
The spaces in my work are in a transient state. They are not specific to their own location; they are not geographically defined. Something is always about to happen; something is always about to change. They are always incomplete and uncanny and at the same time, they vigorously defend their existence asserting their position in my memory. I am seduced into believing that they are there. I feel ashamed and constantly surveyed, afraid of being accused of not crediting them their historical validity.
In the early part of the 20th century politicians, activists and artists in Communist Russia were involved in an act of building a Soviet myth, creating a new space-time continuum, while violently eradicating the past by erasing facts from the history texts, documents, photographs, and from the consciousness of people. In the process, a new history was fabricated, thus creating a new order, a new collective memory, and turning an entire country and its many cultures into exiles in their own land.
In the years since, Vladimir Nabokov explorations of nostalgia and reflections on exile, and Ilya Kabakov reconstructing of the past, to name a few examples, are all part of a ritualistic return or an obsessive homecoming and anxious preservation of memory. Nostalgia in the work of these artists is palpable and real and has great impact onto constructs of cultural memories. They do, however, remind us that the images produced and circulated within that culture need to be carefully examined. Perhaps, while remnants of history are scattered all over with no sign of provenance, they have no ability to tell a story of their own but can only remain in a form of melancholic nostalgia.