LEFTOVER | Veniaminova Oksana

After my grandparents both died during a year I came back to my home city to document what was left. I felt a strong need to examine the environment I grew up in, to immerse myself into the atmosphere of my soviet childhood. This resulted in the series of still lives shot in my grandparents flat.
Each object on the photos looks the same and occupies the same space in the flat as it used to many years ago. This shows some individual habits of my grandparents. My grandma used to keep some of her bijous in the blue crystal bowl. My grandpa was very fond of fishing and used to make fishing nets himself. He kept his gear for weaving nets on the chair by the window and on the windowsill. And on this chair has always been the green ornamented mat.
However, the series reflects not only my personal experience, but also cultural, aesthetical and everyday patterns of the post-soviet countries. Carpets, cupboards where families kept not only crystal tableware but also photos, postcards and documents, standard wallpapers, curtains and utensils, caskets for collected buttons – the post war habit of elderly women, famous paintings replicas and plenty of tapestry. These objects were also signs of well-being of a soviet family.
Now, having lost their functionality, all these things serve rather as triggers, provoking familiar senses in everyone who has grown in similar environment. This conventional, uniform, instantly and unmistakably recognizable ambience of a soviet flat has turned into a symbol of the era and represents the collective memory of former soviet nations.
Thus the series implies such notions as time, patterns, individual and collective memory, the role of things in our life.
The series is also my personal attempt of revision and acceptance of my past, my way to say goodbye and move further.