top of page

Historical Inquiry

The project consists of a group of oil and watercolor paintings based on the Soviet archival photographs from the 1920-1930s and a collection of short videos made of archival footage from the same era. 

Historical Inquiry: Primary Source Analysis is a group of twelve digitally manipulated excerpts from archival footage created in Russia between 1917 and 1939. Some of the clips come form the recordings of major historical events, such as the army mutiny during the February revolution, or Moscow show trials, while others show day-to-day life: subway builders posing for a photograph, inmates dancing at Solovki’s labor camp, etc. 

Historical Inquiry: Primary Source Analysis, digitized archival footage and digital animation, 13:54 min., 2012-13

Female Elements is a set of 28 watercolors based on photographs of peasant women accused of working as executioners for the Red Army during the Russian Civil War; in 1920 they were captured and executed by the soldiers of Denikin’s White Army .

Image With Caption is a set of drawings based on a childhood photograph of Svetlana Stalin, the daughter of Joseph Stalin, sitting on the lap of Lavrenty Beria, the head of the Soviet secret police at the time, with Joseph Stalin and secretary Lacoba in the background. The caption comes from "Joseph Stalin: A Biographical Companion" by Helen Rappaport (first published in 1991).  

The small portrait gallery (26 portraits, 2010) is based on a set of photographs from the official website of Russia’s Federal Security Service, FSB.  The webpage titled “our leaders” shows the KGB/FSB heads from 1917 to the current day, including the organizers of the Great Terror of 1930s and the current Russia’s prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

bottom of page