"Let these lifeless features remind you of something alive"
2013. Archival photographs. Variable sizes.
In Summer 2012, Fedor embarked in the first of two journeys to a desolated area on the left bank of the River Volga, 350 kilometers north from Moscow. He visited abandoned villages located around the former Soviet Union’s collective farms in order to document traditional rural houses and solitary interiors. Multiple looted buildings pierced through the landscape as frozen time machines that still bear the traces of its departed owners.
Fedor rescued a few family photos left unwanted by their proprietors in the derelict homes. This memorabilia was the beginning of an assembly of disposed family archives, which the artist articulates as revisionist alternative to the levied official history. In Fedor's body of work the original imprints are not merely photographic images, but even more distinctly historical objects. In the context of post-communist Russian society these recovered archives might serve as the only link to restore - if possible - the fragile personal memory that has been vanquished by a regime that imposed the authority of collective narratives over the individual self.
The fact that the artist sets focus on the inscriptions on the reverse of the photos, rather than images exhibits his concern with the nature of the photographic medium leaving the question about its historical value open.
Some of the handwritten captions on the reverse of the photographs read as follows: “To my dear nan from Olechka”, “For long memory from husband Jenya”, “To my loved grand mommy”, “In memory of 2nd May 1954. Friends of youth.”