Working across the genres of land-art, digital media, found objects and installation, Russian-based artist Aleksandr Lialiushkin discusses his deeply-reflective two-year project (2018-2020). “Sense of Kin” embodies his feelings of personal loss of connection to kin, as the distance grows from his current life in St. Petersburg to the small village where he grew up.
I'm from the little village of Buturlino in the district of Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia. I have a big family; almost all of them live in this village near Nizhny Novgorod. We meet once a year, and I feel we are starting to lose contact.
The work “Sense of kin” was created in Buturlino. There are three ‘totem poles’ made of wood boards with little holes in them. These boards represent small walls of disconnection in my family, disconnection in other families, and disconnection itself. The holes in the boards are symbols of ‘memory loss’ and feelings of ‘flowing away’ from my family and my sense of kinship.
The digital series “Holes” includes four collages based on my photos taken in Buturlino. Two of them show the courtyard of my grandparent’s house, and the other two are from the maternity hospital where I was born. They have the same ‘hole pattern’ of land-art swapped out between two of the photos. It shows the puzzle -- my ‘curve of losing the memory’.
Every piece of this project is my personal story. Even wood boards used in the land art were found among the ruins of the old bath. Fearing disconnection from my family, I made an object with the fourth board and brought it with me to St. Petersburg,
This project contains land art, digital collages, and objects.
During the installation of this piece, the rain came.
I see my personal story as a sequence of moving from point to point, trying to raise my quality of living. After two years, I returned to “Sense of Kin” in 2020, thinking about my village in Nizhny Novgorod as the first point.
In the project, a concentrating meditative action faces an anarchic off-system desire to break down everything. I want the audience to see the metaphysic gradient of two opposite points and ask themselves: "Where am I, and who are my kin?".
About the Artist
Aleksandr Lialiushkin currently resides in St. Petersburg and works with photography, video, installation, fine arts and performance. He graduated from the School of Contemporary Art “Paideia” in 2016. He began to take part in exhibitions with his project “Men and Words” (2014) and “Plastic” (2018) in Millipiani Art Space in Rome. Nowadays, Aleksandr works with textiles and photography, and he exhibits in St. Petersburg as well as in other countries around the world.