For the first time with the 08.08.08 series, Ms. Marina Fedorova creates a project based on her real life story. These artworks depict her own wedding which took place on August 8, 2008, in Ossetia. During those very days of August, the armed conflict in South Ossetia broke out, giving a very personal moment an unexpected undercurrent. Tanks and military vehicles were on the very same road where the wedding cortege drove. Every single moment of that day – bitter and sweet at the same time – was forever etched in memory.
Prior to this project, the Artist’s main focus was the world of reflections. She drew inspiration from fashion and cinema. Any real life scenes that captured her interest were inevitably stylised and perfected according to the aesthetic vision of the Artist who chose the world of gloss and glamour as her creative impulse. In the 08.08.08 series, Ms. Marina Fedorova follows a different path, staying true, however, to her unchanging credo of ‘improving’ and ‘correcting’ the reality, to lead us toward maybe the ideal and perfect world.
The documentary-like approach chosen by Ms. Marina Fedorova in this case is dictated by the very theme of the project: the military conflict. The Artist based her paintings on the photographs taken that very day. The idyllic open-air scenes (Beautiful Day, Far Far Away) are presented side by side with the frightening images of tanks marching along the road (Cortege of the Bride, Cortege of the Bride 2). With Search Window painting, the Artist invites the audience to look into the viewfinder with her: the viewer becomes directly involved in her life and the events of that day, observing them through the camera lens.
In Bride, the bride in her wedding dress and veil, a bouquet in her hand, drinks champagne from a simple plastic cup. This combination of the incongruous, of perfect style and bad taste, luxury and disposable junk products, is one of the paradoxical signs of our time.
Mr. Marina Fedorova always pays special attention to these characteristic elements that come to signify a specific time and place. In Still Life, a mobile phone casually dropped onto the table becomes such a self-explanatory sign. The still life arranged on the table, with its Soviet-era festive tableware, a three-litre jar, a spoon in a glass, tells about the life of an Ossetian village of the 2000s in which the time seems to stand still. In this series the camera is the link that helps guide the perception. The viewer seems to be flipping through the pages of a photo album, looking at its snapshot-like paintings marrying a reportage approach and a deeply personal sense of the moment. With this project, Ms. Fedorova managed to express the inner discord of a person emotionally entangled in the tragic events she involuntarily became witness to.
Anastasia Karlova, Ph.D.
Curator of the Department of Contemporary Art, State Russian Museum,