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ALEXANDER TEREBENIN

MEMORIAL TO POLITICAL PRISONERS

(RUSSIA)

«The revolution devours its children,» Georges Jacques Danton, the famous French revolutionary, said before his death in 1794 at the hands of his former comrades. People of different social strata, ethnicities, and political views were active in the revolutionary movement in Russia throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. For their devotion to their ideas, they were imprisoned, exiled, and sentenced to hard labor. They fought for a new life, but it was this new life that destroyed them. The Stalinist regime dispensed with the old freethinkers and rebels. Today, we constantly hear about the victims of political repression in the Stalin era, as well as participants in the dissident and human rights movements in the following period, but few remember those who suffered for their subversive activity at the turn of the 20th century.

 

This spatial composition in the square by the House of Political Prisoners rescues from oblivion the names of people whose fates were unjust and tragic. The trunk of each tree is wrapped with a red band with the name and short biography of one of the members of the Society of Former Political Prisoners. From any point of view, the viewer can see a clean, horizontal red line cutting through the space. This line symbolizes the bloody wound inflicted on a huge number of people and on Russia in general.

 

Alexander Terebenin is an artist, photographer, curator, and the winner of the Innovation Prize for 2014. He has participated in many exhibitions in Russia and abroad. He lives and works in St. Petersburg.