The solo exhibition by video installation artist Ira Eduardovna consists of three works, all dealing with themes of memory, identity and home. Eduardovna was born in Uzbekistan and moved to Israel with her family as part of the great immigration wave after the fall of the Soviet Union. The experience of immigration is at the heart of her works, which contain strong autobiographical aspects. The political story is examined through a personal prism, and along with the destabilization of the family institution, the strict ideological structures are replaced by repetitive narratives and liminal places.
Eduardovna constantly moves between here and there and between past and present. She addresses memory in a way that emphasizes its partiality, temporality and its incredibility, for instance when casting herself and her family to play staged memories. In The Cherry Orchard she and her family perform an Eastern European ritual of sitting together before departure, while the viewer sees the event as a distant observer. She uses a doorframe-like object to build what constitutes a house, but dwells at the threshold. The ritual, as something connected to tradition, maintains an alleged affinity to the past, while here the repetitiveness in fact opposes the linear timeline. The experience of immigration doesn’t generate nostalgia towards the past nor an optimistic view towards the future. Instead the works settle in the transition itself and in the attempt to construct a home, that is, in a marginal place in its essence.
The work Mother shows Eduardovna’s own mother preparing the traditional family dinner table, with her head cut out of the frame. We again witness a circular-ritualistic movement of setting the table, as the family structure is literally undermined by an unexplained trembling threatening to break the china.
The Room tries to rebuild a home by dismantling the categories that establish the modern subject: time and space. We see the artist in housekeeping uniform, which were also used as school uniform in the Soviet Union, drawing the contour of her future self. The action repeats itself, and is laid out in accordance to the architectonical boundaries of the room, so the time axis is dictated by the spatial one. Nothing is in its place in The Room: identity is constantly redefined, moving between the supposedly strict structures that establish it in different times and places.