HRISTINA TASHEVA

< ASPECT RATIO

What does a monument (power) need in order to survive?

Being born in Bulgaria in the end of the communistic period and also formed by its ideals as a person, I am curious how one of the symbols of this power - the monuments (from the Latin "monere," which means 'to remind', 'to advise' or 'to warn'), are situated in the public space and what their influence is on people. In the article “What we have to do we with the monuments?” Nadejda Tchipeva writes about the discussion in post communistic Bulgaria provoked from the existing socialistic monuments. On one side there are people who think that it is impossible to keep them after the cruelties done by the system, and on the other the ones who claim that the monuments are part of the history, so they have to be maintained as cultural heritage. Their abolishment will be not enough to change the people’s thinking.
While in Bulgaria this kind of debates are possible, in Belarus, the last dictatorship in Europe with a Soviet style of ruling the state, the monuments are not under question, representing the ideals and symbolic of the socialistic power.
By the visual language they speak, they become an instrument for control and repression: the communistic leaders and heroes are on pedestals, to be followed and to be looked upon, where god is; with inhumanly oversized figures, extraordinary, untouchable, high, powerful, and ultimate; vertical and suppressive, absorbing attention. The place of the ordinary people is down. Their role is to bow in front of the monuments, to imitate the hero’s life example, to feel small.
In the project ‘Aspect ratio” I am ‘measuring’ with different means the monuments in Bulgaria and Belarus and question the position and meaning they (could) have for the people now days.

 

Belarus, Minsk, Independence Square, Monument to Lenin
Bulgaria, Sofia, Monument to the Soviet Army
Belarus, Minsk, Bust to Lenin, St. Oktiabrskaya, 16
Bulgaria, Sofia, Monument to the Soviet Army
Belarus, Smolevichi District, Memorial complex "Hill of Glory”
Belarus, Minsk, Victory Square
Belarus, Brest, the memorial complex “Brest Fortress”
Belarus, Brest, Monument to Lenin
Belarus, Brest, Monument to Lenin
Belarus, Minsk, Yakub Kolas Square
Belarus, Brest, the memorial complex “Brest Fortress”
Belarus, Smolevichi, Monument to Lenin
Belarus, Minsk, Victory Park, Hero City Obelisk
Belarus, Minsk, Winners Avenue