Alexandra Sukhareva: Comb in the Grass (Small Descriptive Models That Have Turned into Action)
Exploring the ways in which contemporary knowledge is constructed, artist Alexandra Sukhareva's research project focuses on the Siege of Leningrad (September 8, 1941– January 27, 1944). The 872 days of isolation contributed to a major shift in people's daily preoccupations and rituals. With extremely sporadic access to information from the outside world, especially in the first months of the blockade, the city's inhabitants began to look for alternative ways to understand and construct reality. This period of separation from a sanctioned version of reality and the resulting feeling of alienation became, for Sukhareva, emblematic of the situation people experience with the dissemination of information today. In this research, the artist's key concern is to explore the variety of channels and spiritual outlets through which people sought something to rely on in the face of the uncertainty.
Since the launch of the project in 2015, Sukhareva has conducted extensive research in public and private archives and institutions, including the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; the Museum of the Defense and Siege of Leningrad, St. Petersburg; the Roerich Family Museum and Institute, St. Petersburg; the Central State Archive of Political and Historic Documents, St. Petersburg; the Moscow Theosophical Society, Moscow; the Museum of Sadriddin Ayni, Samarkand, Uzbekistan; and the State Museum of the History of the Temurids, Tashkent, Uzbekistan.