My Predecessors

​Performance of Endurance, Edge Zones, Miami International Performance Festival, Miami, FL, 2016 



In this performance of endurance, I explore a variety of ways in which the past continues to influence our present. By telling the stories of my foremothers sacrificed by the communist state, I attempt to purify, worship and liberate my family’s past in a reflection which mirrors the complex relationships women continue to have with power institutions.

In the performance, I walk on my knees in circles. My hands are tied to a soviet flag restricting my movements. On my neck I carry a bucket full of potato starch mixed with water. A table spoon is attached to the bucket. A handful of carnations (a flower with which soviet cultures worshipped their heroes) protrude through my mouth. I spit the carnations out one by one on the floor and start telling the stories of hunger experienced by my female ancestors. I walk in circles close to my audience and stop to ask some of the spectators to feed me the potato starch from the bin. The stories intertwine with short feeding sessions. I keep walking, my knees start bleeding leaving the red marks on the floor. The performance is over when there is no more potato stretch to eat and no more stories to tell. 

​Photo: courtesy of the artist

TATIANA KOROLEVA