Mapping Fates

2017

In her recent project Mapping Fates, artist Varvara Shavrova brings to life her own and her family history by using historical photographs that become templates for tapestries, woven fabrics and textile art works and a sound track that is based on some stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, and occasional letters that survived wars and conflicts.

Shavrova‘s practice is focused on excavating layers of her own and her family history through the process of remembering, recalling, retracing, re-enacting stories that are assembled into a visual montage, and where a collective notion of ‘a history’ is explored through an individual perception of ‘a past’. Through the perspective of one family that was living in Georgia and Russia, we are invited to explore some of the key themes in the history of Eurasia in the 20th century: dispossession, migration, immigration and loss of identity experienced by Shavrova’s ancestors at the turn of the last century are mirrored by almost identical crisis experienced worldwide today – poverty, wars, global migration, refugee crisis, redefinition of borders, redistribution of world power and creation of new dominant geopolitical order.

In the context of the festival, Shavrova‘s project interferes with the exhibits at the Elizarovs museum, a beautifully preserved 5 room apartment that was the home of Lenin’s sister Anna Ulyanova and her husband Mark Elizarov, and from April to July, 1917 also of Vladimir Lenin and Nadezhda Krupskaya. The everyday objects of the Elizarov museum (furniture, photographs, a chess set, Lenin’s wheel chair, photographs) that are part of one family history at the turn of last century are contextualized by the re-traced history of another family – Shavrova’s – with a completely different historical and personal fate.

Branch of the Smolny State Historical and Memorial Museum The Elizarovs’ Apartment Museum is located in a tenement house built in 1913. The apartment was owned by the engineer Mark Elizarov who was Lenin’s older sister Anna’s husband. Besides the Elizarovs the apartment accommodated Lenin’s younger sister Maria Ilyinichna Ulyanova and his mother Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova who spent here her last years and died in 1916.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya moved into the apartment upon their return from the Swiss exile in April 1917. During three months spent by Lenin in the Elizarovs’ apartment, he wrote 170 works. Here the meetings of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party were held and many Bolsheviks attended them. The apartment was converted into Museum in 1927, its exposition being dedicated to life of a city intellectual of the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century. The permanent exhibit tells about the life of the Ulyanovs-Elizarovs family.

Address: 52 Ulitsa Lenina, Apt. 24
Closest metro station: Chkalovskaya
Tel.: +7 (812) 235-3778
Museum hours: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 – 18:00
Wednesday 13:00 – 20:00
Closed: Thursday, Friday

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Interview with Varvara Sharova from The PRO ARTE Foundation on Vimeo .

Projects

Fate mapping. History of the Shavrov family in the context of the Great History

The project of Varvara Shavrova in the Museum-apartment of Yelizarov

In the installation, housed in the Museum-apartment of Elizarov, Varvara Shavrova revives the history of her family with the help of artwork on textiles based on historical photographs; a soundtrack inspired by family legends handed down from generation to generation; and letters that survived despite the wars and other upheavals.

The artistic reception of Shavrova allows her to reconstruct the family history in the process of remembering, repeating and narrating, creating a story flowing into a visual image in which the concept of “big history” is explored through the perception of the past by an individual.

Through the history of an individual family, we are invited to look at the history of Eurasia in the twentieth century: poverty, wars, global migration, refugee problems, the redistribution of power and the emergence of a new world order.

The Shavrova project is inscribed in the exposition of the Museum-apartment of Yelizarov, where museum objects (furniture, photographs, household items) were once part of the family history of one family at the turn of the last two centuries – and now they are a context for the history of another family, with a different fate, at a different time.

Varvara Shavrova (Russia-Ireland)

Varvara Shavrova was born in Moscow in 1968, a graduate of the Moscow Polygraphic Institute. In 1990, the international professional career of the artist began: in 1990 – 2003 Shavrova was a member of art residences and art programs in London and Mayo County, Ireland. From 2005 to 2010 she lived and worked in China, in 2010 she returns to Ireland.

The artist has held more than 20 solo exhibitions in London, Dublin, Frankfurt, Beijing and other cities, she also participates in numerous group exhibitions around the world, has several international awards, her works are in public collections in London, Staffordshire, Essex, Oxford and etc.

In 2007, Shavrova’s project “Borders”, combining photos, video and graphic works, was shown at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of the History of St. Petersburg in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Multimedia project “Opera”, dedicated to the Beijing opera and having a great international resonance, was presented in Spain, Ireland and China (2011 -2016). Currently, the artist is working on a dissertation at Goldsmith College in London.

Museum-apartment of Elizarovs 
Branch of the State Historical and Memorial Museum “Smolny”

The museum-apartment of Yelizarov is located in a former apartment house built according to the design of engineer Alexander Ehrlich in 1913. The apartment belonged to Mark Timofeevich Elizarov – husband of his elder sister, VI. Lenin’s Anna Ilyinichna. With them lived the adopted son of Elizarov Gora, younger sister Maria Ilyinichna and mother Maria Aleksandrovna Ulyanova, who spent the last years of her life and died in 1916. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya settled in the apartment on their return from the Swiss emigration in April 1917. For three months, held here, Lenin was written 170 works. Here there were meetings of the Central Committee of the RSDLP (b), there were prominent Bolsheviks. The museum was opened in 1927. The exposition demonstrates the life of the urban intellectual of the late XIX – early XX centuries, tells about the history of the Ulyanov-Elizarov family.

Address:  st. Lenina, 52, apt. 24

Metro:  Chkalovskaya

Tel:  (812) 235-37-78

Opening hours:  Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00 
Wednesday from 13:00 to 20:00

Closed:  Thursday, Friday

English

In her her recent project Mapping Fates, artist Varvara Shavrova brings to life her own and her family history by using historical photographs that become templates for tapestries, woven fabrics and textile art works from generation to generation, and occasional letters that survived wars and conflicts.

Shavrova’s practice is focused on the excavating layers of her own and her family history through the process of remembering, recalling, retracing, re-enacting stories that are assembled into a visual montage, and where individual perception of ‘a past’. Through the perspective of one family that was living in Georgia and Russia, we are invited to explore some of the key themes in the history of Eurasia in the 20th century: dispossession, migration, immigration and loss of identity experienced by Shavrova’s ancestors at the turn the dominant geopolitical order, the globalization, the crisis, the redistribution of the world.

In the context of the festival, Shavrova’s project interferes with the exhibits at the Elizarovs museum, a beautifully preserved 5 room apartment that was the home of Lenin’s sister Anna Elizarov, and from April to July, 1917 also of Vladimir Lenin and Nadezhda Krupskaya. The everyday objects of the Elizarov museum are the contextualized by the re-traced history of another family – Shavrova’s – with a completely different historical and personal fate. 
Varvara Shavrova (Russia – Ireland) 
Varvara Shavrova (Russia – Ireland)
Originally from Moscow, Varvara Shavrova first came to London in 1990 as a Fellow of the Florence Trust in North London, where she received a three-year studio bursary, followed by a stint at the Barbican Arts Group Trust, in Hackney. Another Fellowship followed at the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in a rural Irish village of Ballycastle, County Mayo, in 1999, and since then Shavrova was invited back as a Returning Fellow, in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003. In 2003 Shavrova acquired a derelict cottage in Kilbride, that was restored, and a separate studio was built on site, where Shavrova started working in early 2004.

In 2005 Shavrova moved to live and work in China with her young family, where she stayed till 2010, and then returning to her studio in rural Ireland. Over the years Shavrova created the number of landmark projects that involved with the landscape and history of the Irish, including the painting and drawing of the Inscriptions: Painting the Line, Stanley Picker Gallery, Kingston University, touring to James Hockey Gallery, University of Surrey, UK; Model Arts Center Sligo, Linenhall Arts Center, Castlebar and Courthouse Gallery, Ballinglen Arts Foundation (2000-2001); Landscape Fossilized, exhibition of vitreous enamels, drawings and paintings at Patrick Heide Art Projects, London and touring to Mayo. General Hospital and Ceide Fields. Visitor Center (2004).

Shavrova’s internationally acclaimed multi-media project Untouched (2006-2009) includes photography, documentation and film documenting. The project was exhibited at the Beijing Museum of the Imperial City as part of the First Festival of Irish Culture in Beijing. Patrick’s Culture and Arts Festival in Shanghai, toured to the City Museum and Art Gallery in Galway during the Galway Arts Festival in 2009, and to the Ballina Arts Center in 2012.

Shavrova’s other landmark project, Borders (2006-2015), was exhibited at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), at the Museum of the History of St.Petersburgh (2007), and at the Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland (2015) ).

The Opera (2010-2012) multi-media installation was commissioned and premiered at the Espacio Cultural El Tanque in Tenerife, Spain (2011), and at the Temple Hotel and Venue in Beijing (2016), among many other locations. Shavrova was invited to curate the exhibition of Ireland’s Former President Mary Robinson’s Archive in the Ballina Library in 2015.

Shavrova has two teenage sons, she lives and works in Dublin, London and Ballycastle, and is currently studying for her MFA postgraduate degree at Goldsmiths College London. 
The Elizarovs ‘Apartment Museum 
Branch of the Smolny State Historical and Memorial Museum 
The Elizarovs’ Apartment Museum is located in a tenement house built in 1913. The apartment was owned by the engineer Mark Elizarov who was Lenin’s older sister Anna’s husband. In addition to the Elizarovs the apartment, Lenin’s younger sister Maria Ilyinichna Ulyanova and his mother Maria Alexandrovna Ulyanova who spent the last years and died in 1916.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and his wife Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya moved into the apartment on their return from the Swiss exile in April 1917. For three months spent by Lenin in the Elizarovs’ apartment, he wrote 170 works. Here the meetings of the Social Democratic Labor Party were held and many Bolsheviks attended them. The apartment was converted into a museum in 1927, its exposition being dedicated to the life of the city. The permanent exhibition tells about the life of the Ulyanovs-Elizarovs family.

Address: 52 Ulitsa Lenina, Apt. 24 
Closest metro station: Chkalovskaya 
Tel .: +7 (812) 235-3778 
Museum hours: Monday, Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 – 18:00 
Wednesday 13:00 – 20:00 
Closed: Thursday, Friday

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