Sasha Kovalyova, an artist.
In her work, Sasha explores the phenomenon of memory, memorialisation of events, and lost or overlooked strata of social knowledge.
She has spent several years looking at ways death studies could be reflected in her art, while also gradually branching out into themes such as remembering, archives and oblivion.
“The residency should have been titled Sasha Kovalyova’s Snowdrops. But on February 24, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. And the spring got cancelled. As were all of our plans and thoughts; and it seemed as if we had been cancelled, too.
So we called off the programme we had planned to hold. On February 25, we made a public statement in an Instagram post about the hell on earth that we all witnessed; later we were told that speaking our minds was outlawed.
This was how we felt during those two weeks.
One thing is certain: we will never forget those days.”
Polina, Maria, Sasha
Pomidor Residency, Season 2
February 28 — March 13, 2022
“My residency should have been about the mechanism of memory. We had planned to make a series of streams and discuss things such as where exactly in the human brain memories come into being, how memory is preserved and how it becomes part of a common culture.
How ‘a hot memory’ gets cold and, being usurped and overused by officials and bureaucrats, loses its vitality, and what the consequences are.
But we got caught up in the hot process of memory being forged. And abstract philosophical conversations about the origins of knowledge and memories no longer seemed appropriate. We called off the streams, lectures and discussions we had planned to hold and just observed the time. Sometimes we tried to do something.
My observations inspired the Resident’s Diary that I started during my residency and that I have been adding irregular entries to since it was over.
It is possible to publish my diary in Russia but such a move could be fraught with risks. Since its inception, new laws have rendered my diary illegal more than once and now it could face more charges if a fresh sabotage law is passed. Even though it contains nothing but a collection of thoughts by a common peace-loving girl and pictures telling the story of the times.”