Kak Vsegda/As Always
Pari Nadimi Gallery
February 9-March 25, 2017
Kak Vsegda translates to 'as always', a lamentation often uttered to express the experience of deep disappointment in the cyclical and perpetual failures of various institutions, groups and individuals. It expresses a certain sense of hopelessness born out of a history of subjugation and loss. The collapse of the Soviet system and its notion of futurity premised on a total break in history inaugurated a jingoistic nationalism. This new regime seeks to perpetuate ancient traumas through gendered expressions of power and loss. "Kak Vsegda" the old people mutter as we find ourselves once again at the beginning of history, with a stone hoisted against an unseen enemy. A cry is witnessed but is unheard in the bluster.
How will we know which is history and which is memory? Will it be in stories carried through in thick and hidden layers?
Kak Vsegda / As Always is a video and installation project that centres around Kalmenson's migration from Leningrad, USSR and return after 27 years to Saint Petersburg, Russia. The show presents performance documentation from his residency at the National Center for Contemporary Art in Saint Petersburg and immersive installation works. Assembled through fragments gathered from a flea market near his childhood home and family stories Kalmenson presents a searching vision which seeks to dissect various motifs of memory construction.