Airship over New Homes

Nazar Strelyaev - Ukraine

Airship over New Homes is an installation that combines the archival documents of my late grandfather's with photographs taken by me on an iPhone. The plot of the work is lined up around the Noviye Doma district in Kharkov, Ukraine.
I hardly knew my grandfather, he died when I was only 2 years old, so his image was made up of the memories of relatives and the objects that remained after him and were carefully preserved in their places by my grandmother. In the past my grandfather was a Soviet military man with a high rank, but I always knew that he had some kind of hobby - he designed his own airship. But this story was almost legendary for me, until one day I found a whole stack of arship research folders in an old cupboard. These documents, drawings, notes, essays were aliens from the utopian Soviet past. 
The image of a man coming home from work and sitting down to work on his airship did not match the reality around me and the district where my granfother lived.
The neigрborhood with the ironic name Noviye Doma (eng New Homes) was no longer new. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Noviye Doma quickly degraded from a typical Soviet worker's district to a criminal and poor area. Looking at the current state of this location and the people living there, it is hard to imagine that any of them would come home and start developing an airship. 
In my project, I tried to mix the romantic past and the ruthlessly disappointed present to try to understand how historical events and the change of epochs have affected us and the world around us. Today's iPhone photos get along with my grandfather's archive, claiming to be part of a study on airships. It is also an allegory of a curious, from an aesthetic point of view, mixture of times in similar areas. A woman in one of the photographs looks up with hope and her gaze rests on the drawing of a flying machine. The documents and photos are placed in wooden cells in three cabinets, which refer to the shape of a wundercammer, because this is what the empty room of my grandfather's looks like.


Artwork Details

Installation - Wood
Artwork Size - Width 240 | Height 130 | Depth 3
Created in 2020

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