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Author Evgeniy Molodtsov (https://emolodtsov.com/)

About

Not far from our summer house, right in the middle of the forest, we found a dump where everything that once filled the man`s home was thrown: windows, doors, plumbing, cupboards with books and records, a bed, clothes, dishes — a whole life. It turned out that these things belonged to a woman, her name was Elena Eduardovna Ramus. Judging by the fragmentaries of the surviving documents, she was born on August 16, 1939. She had been working at a some scientific research institute, traveling a lot after the retirement. It seems she did not have children — she was pictured alone on almost all of the photographs. Among the books we found a lot of slides and films. Through dampness and mold, the emulsion on some slides were damaged. There were traveling photos, nature photography, images of a typical Soviet landscapes, and pictures of Elena Eduardovna herself. There was an impression that the images would disappear soon, as well as many books, postcards, films, photographs and other things. A month later, the dump vanished as suddenly as it had appeared — it was cleared out and the place was covered with ground, so there was not a single thing left. Ramus project is compiled from fragmentary evidences of a person`s life — implicit, deteriorating and collapsing imprints of time, blown away by the "storm" of history. The footage which is being presented is a piece of film where Elena`s name is written by bacterias and molds taken from the found archive. The material basis of this memory is a photo-emulsion influenced by the natural environment. It refers to an a priori weakness of the materiality regarding the historical perspective. Through an artistic gesture it revives in the unity of the "organic" and the "cultural", blurring the boundary between these two eternal opposites. Therefore, this weakness does not only preserve, but also fulfills its hidden potential — both the demand to remember, and the necessity of being forgotten.

Bio

Born in 1987 in Penza, Russia. Earned degree in economics at the National Research University – Higher School of Economics (Moscow), faculty «World economy and world politics». Spend one year in Italy studying the culture and economics at the Bologna University. From 2012 live in Saint Petersburg and attend the Fotodepartament Institute contemporary photography course. In 2019 studied at the New Media Laboratory. In 2014 participate in the Parallel program of the European Biennial of Contemporary Art «Manifesta» (Saint Petersburg), hold Grand Prix of the International photofestival «Photoparade» contest (2016), win the contest «Young photographers of Russia» (2017, 2019), «Photovisa» (2019). In 2015-2020 was honored with the Government award in the sphere of culture.

The facts of my biography (frequent change of residence, loss of connection with a particular territory and roots) influenced a lot on the formation of my art practice and the theme of my projects. Studying the identity through the reconstruction, appropriation and performative practices, I try to reach the self-identification and understand what it means to be a Russian or someone else. In my projects, I rely on the idea of the return of society to the origins, the general concepts, in an attempt to understand for myself what is really important in defining oneself, one`s identity and belonging to a social and cultural community.
Personal website – https://emolodtsov.com/en