Interview: Alisa Taezhnaya
PHOTOS: Ekaterina Musatkina
MAKEUP: Irina Grishina
IN THE HEADING "BOOKSHELF" we ask journalists, writers, scientists, curators and other heroines about their literary preferences and publications, which occupy an important place in their bookcase. Today, Katrin Nenasheva, an artist and member of the Sitting Russia charitable project, which helps convicts and their families, is sharing her stories about her favorite books.
artist and participant of "Sitting Russia"
There was a period when I was obsessively buying publications of UFO, Ad Marginem and "Garage" simply because I had not seen such books before
Our family did not have any special reading culture. In Krasnodar, where I was born and went to school, until the end of the 2000s, everything was very bad with bookstores and modern publications. The need for reading began to appear in me before graduation from school. I think it was some form of local protest, because it was completely unfashionable, and literature was an unloved subject for my classmates. I began to read actively after I came to study in Moscow, and I sharply discovered for myself some absolutely new layer of culture: exhibitions, performances and creative meetings. There was a period when I was obsessively buying up UFO, Ad Marginem and Garage publications, simply because I had never seen such books before. I wanted to touch, smell, carry in bags and bags.
Now my library is small: because of the move, there is nowhere to store books and I have reduced the bookshelf, rather, to a set of artifacts. My attitude to the book as an object and to the reading process itself is constantly changing, it is situational, like a performance. Today, publications for me are the keepers of the event, which is often expressed in torn pages or stained, painted covers. For the last year and a half I have been buying catalogs or thick magazines. From the latter - a black and white brochure A5, a manifesto of neoacademism by Timur Novikov. The most important place for me where I have ever found a book is the shop of the Borey-art gallery on Liteiny in St. Petersburg: dusty basement window sills littered with garbage batteries, dim light and rare books scattered on the shelves, mixed with paintings and installations on sale.
I have never been able to name one favorite writer - it seems to me that the eventual feeling of closeness to one or another text is constantly changing. Today, for example, you feel closeness to Turgenev on different levels, tomorrow - to your medical record, and the day after tomorrow you feel your favorite writers are residents of the neuropsychiatric boarding school, who leave messages for those who exist in open space. At the time of this conversation, my favorite writer is Sasha Serov, a resident of one of the Moscow psycho-neurological boarding schools. He is very empathetic, and his whole speech is literature. From the last statements - just his appeal to people at large (residents of the PNI are limited in access to the city): “I love you for your beauty. For beauty. " This is the name of our common photo album.
I have always been interested in the life and characteristics of excluded groups: it seems to me that the task of art and media today is to find alternative ways of communication. Those that reduce exclusion and develop new forms of community interaction. In general, the very communication with representatives of different communities gives a unique experience and makes you a participant in unexpected situations. Now I am interested in the contrast “here and there” - between the everyday life of an open public field and a closed regime space. In a neuropsychiatric boarding school, I run a small photo lab, where we strive to get to know ourselves and draw parallels with the outside world.That is why now I have in my backpack a Soviet book "People with disabilities" - I found it in the mountain of discarded waste paper. The publication provides recommendations for communicating with people with developmental disabilities, and the authors do not choose words and do not care about the rigidity of the theses.
In the Sitting Russia movement, which helps convicts and their families, we have come up with a media laboratory in which former prisoners learn to tell stories in their own words and look for a suitable media form for this: this is a variant of creative rehabilitation. We are doing this project with the journalist Misha Levin, and the laboratory includes a variety of people. Now we are publishing a literary and criminal magazine, which will be published under the editorship of a man who has served in prison for more than thirty years.
Now my favorite writer is Sasha Serov, resident of one
from Moscow PNI
Dovlatov is a family writer for me. I think that at the age of fourteen, having borrowed paperback from my grandfather at the Compromise bar, I rethought my attitude to reading and the writer as such a little. From time to time we spoke with quotes from Dovlatov, and for a short period of time they became a universal language for communication in the family circle: jokes, kind wit - that's all. For some reason I am very proud of it!
Dovlatov was brought to us in Krasnodar by my uncle, who travels a lot. Then the city was rather scarce with at least a little modern editions, the culture of reading was, rather, reduced to classics from the school curriculum and gift books about the Kuban and the Cossacks. I read "Compromise" and went for the new Dovlatov to the school library, where, of course, there was nothing at all. “Go to Pushkinskaya!” Is such a massive building with white columns, a thousand secret rooms and giant crystal chandeliers. You can register there only from the age of sixteen. In general, I found some collection of the writer in the edition of "Alphabet-Classics" and at the beginning of each lesson I laid it out along with all the textbooks and notebooks at school. To date, almost all of Dovlatov has been read and occupies a separate place on the shelf.
I was born in the reeds
I will never part with this publication, although this is a completely review material on the legacy of Kharms. Here are letters, and children's poems, and "The Old Woman" - everything is mixed in a heap, but rather succinctly. Some of the pages have been torn out in this book: for some reason, the first two sheets of "I was born in the reeds" and a little of "The Old Woman" - it seems, frantically wanted to give them to someone to read seven years ago, or inserted into some letter. Kharms completely rebuilt my sense of the language at a transitional age: the mind quickly fell on everyday speech, and from some techniques and phrases my feet were cold. Texts, for example, "What was that?" or "Incubation period", was a mantra - through quotation, repetition and embedding in reality.
Stanislav Jerzy Lec
My handbook of aphorisms. Basically, here are the so-called Lesevskie "frashki" - short statements that may or may not be in rhyme. Most often, Jerzy Lec reflected on the topic of choice and honesty - and, of course, life and death. He has an interesting biography: during the Second World War, while in a concentration camp, he was sentenced to death, and he was forced to dig his own grave. Jerzy Lec hit the SS man with a shovel, changed into his uniform and went to Warsaw to live and work. About this story he has a famous text "Who dug his own grave?" from the collection "Unparticipated Thoughts", which begins with the frashka "The first condition for immortality is death." Of my favorites, however, every rhymed naive like "At the bottom is the safest of all: there is nothing below" or "Such words know the language, which do not need language at all." This book was presented to me by my friend Veronica, now she teaches children English in Korea.
Kudryakov received the Andrey Bely Prize in the 70s.In the collection of the prize, which I bought at one of the book breakdowns, I read his text "Shining Ellipse". Kudryakov is a writer not only underestimated, but rather insufficiently analyzed. He was engaged in street photography in St. Petersburg in the 80s, he had the nickname Gran-Boris. Kudryakov's texts are very photographic: each ending is a click of the camera, and the text itself is a deduction of the exposure, posing poses, and building up the clarity of the frame-event. I analyzed it for a coursework on modern Russian literature at the institute, I practically remember some photographic texts. I bought the book itself at Borey-art - this is a rare edition with a circulation of only 500 copies.
The catalog timed to the exhibition Pasha 183 in 2014 is the first new catalog that I bought. I did not get to the exhibition itself, therefore, in general, I took this edition. I wanted to have the entire history of Pasha's work on the shelf - especially since the documentation is actually huge, and some graffiti simply no longer exist. I often leaf through this book, it fits well in my hands. Well, every day, entering the subway, I push the glass door and remember Pasha's work "Truth to Truth" in 2011, timed to coincide with the anniversary of the Putsch in 91st.
Tales of the Miraculous
My favorite children's writer. A couple of years ago in the Vremya publishing house she published a series of books: this is one of the best examples of unobtrusive and brightly illustrated editions. The book is framed with graphics and paintings by Moritz, I like how images flow here into texts and vice versa - I perceive them as one work. This book has already been visited by many, and I am always very worried about it. On the flyleaf, Moritz herself signed: "There is nothing more precious than your life." Yunna Petrovna signed the book for me and my friend at the non-fiction fair in 2012. This is the only book off my shelf that doesn't smell at all, and I love it. Such publications should be passed from hand to hand, collect layers of new stories - with notes, letters, postcards inside.
Reading Bely is like listening to music. Usually I open Symphonies from a randomly selected page, I don't bookmark it. In Symphonies, as the writer himself said, the composition is “exceptional”: everything is divided into parts, parts into excerpts, excerpts into verses. After reading it, it can be difficult to distract oneself: the rhythm of Bely's prose completely rebuilds the sense of time and space, even the gait temporarily becomes in time with these texts.
I have a complicated relationship with the writer himself: I remember that at the age of fifteen I was dragging around a huge volume of his texts, more than half of them were Bely's theories about composition and tact. I calculated something on a calculator, marked it with a pencil in the book itself, tried to turn the way it was done inside out. I like to play different games with complex texts - although what I find in them can rarely be called a serious philological analysis. With Bely's works, I have not yet been able to play any game - there is a feeling that the author simply does not tolerate this, and the words resist marks and signs. I have this edition of Symphonies completely clean - I am very sensitive to it, I rarely take it with me and, before opening it, I meditate a little. With White, nothing else.
Monthly newspaper of the organization "Club of Psychiatrists"
The latest news from the world of Russian psychiatry, psychiatric hospitals and psycho-neurological boarding schools. Before I read the edition only in pdf, but here I managed to find a whole collection for a year. On the platform of the newspaper, an interesting exchange of roles between the authors of the materials and their heroes unfolds; the publication was created, among other things, in order to give a voice to people with special needs. At the same time, the narrative is built according to unexpected models: the narrative in the reports is conducted from a vague “we”, and sometimes it is not possible to find the difference between the first and the third person.It publishes poetic texts of people with mental disabilities, the "believer's calendar" and recipes on the last page. My favorite column here is Case from Practice, in which psychiatrists share all sorts of stories about their work. You can find the story of a nurse from Germany about a woman who did not speak for sixty years, or the story of a Soviet professor who for years did not find schizophrenia in patients for which they had already been treated.
Medical card of the 29th section
Nenasheva E-A, 15 / 05.94
I found my medical record at home not so long ago - this is a card from birth, I have been reading it for a year now. Here is a doctor who records the state of my mother after childbirth, here it is written about my umbilical ring, here are monthly descriptions of my appearance on a medical examination, here is the seal of the Temryuk printing house from 1990. Reading the card gives me new sensations about physicality and bodily connections. And this, of course, is literature. I started reading the map during the recovery period after the “Don't be afraid” action, when I wore a prison uniform for a month. Some excerpts from it formed the basis of the textual documentation of this action, which is written mostly as a stream of consciousness.
Catalog of the exhibition “The World in Our Eyes. Naive art and art of special people "
Fresh catalog based on the street exhibition, which took place this summer in the Park im. Gorky. The Vladimir Smirnov Foundation and members of the St. Petersburg art studio "Perspektivy" exhibited the works of their wards (residents of psychoneurological boarding schools) on the way to the Garage Museum and watched the reactions of passers-by. In the catalog itself, the collections of the art critic Ksenia Bogemskaya (recognized naive artists, if I may say so) and the works of contemporary artists from the Perspektivy studio interact with each other. The catalog was signed by Kirill Shmyrkov, also an artist, a resident of one of the PNIs in Peterhof. Cyril moves in a wheelchair, he has cosmic facial expressions and gestures, he adores fish. On the catalog, he wrote "We hope the connection will not be interrupted, we hope that you will see such postcards with fish." Sheets from the catalog can really be torn out and presented as postcards.