Artist: Valery Korchagin
Curator: Alexandra Orlova
At one or another time tragic events take place in history of any society. Passing through these experiences makes the society realize itself as a united nation. Endless series of privations and sufferings create the main binding component – the national gene.
For Irish people An Gorta Mór (Great Famine) became such an event. It took place from 1845 till 1852. People felt the cold touch of death. About a million passed away, another million migrated. Potato blight became a curse for the Emerald Island citizens. Such tragedies leave an unerazable mark on its members and happenstance witnesses… However an Irishman always stays an Irishman wherever or whoever he is, he always remembers about his roots.
This story became the basis of artist Valery Korchagin’s dramatic piece “Wool & Potatoes”. Step by step the author masterfully weaves and then offers readers and viewers to solve the mystic story about an unknown Ivan Scotinin, whose half-rotten archive was as it said found at the attic of an old village house in Povolzhye province. These documents crack open their owner’s identity secret. Insurance statesments, payment receipts, notes and stocks point out that their owner was a typical farmer, a peaceful Soviet peasant. But is he really the person he seems to be, and what horrifying truth the old cottage walls keep…
Chimera of the past like a monstrous damnation sleeps in an old facade of memory and patiently waits for its time, so it could be reborn in a different land and in a different capacity in a tortured human consciousness.