***

In the middle of the frame, in the background of black winter sky there is a figure of a statue. It is lit by camera flash, a white rope tied to its neck.

-EEEEH! OOOH! SLAVA, SLAVA! V rydnym kraju panuvati ne damo nykomu[1].

On the culmination of it all, the moment of decapitation of the statue, something gets wrong with the video broadcast. All I see is black and gray dots and pixels and the sound of the shouts and scansions of the ecstatic crowd. No prayers of the monks anymore. I gaze into the black screen with fear, fascination and disappointment. While blindly looking at the black screen and only hearing the voices of the protesters, I imagine the film by Eisenstein, October (1928), the scene where the revolutionists tear down the statue of the Tsar Alexander III. I wonder what kind of monument will be (or not be) raised in Maidan square.

 

October Revolution was very poorly documented. Instead, it was re-enacted by Eisenstein, some of the people in the film were the original fighters of the opposition. I wonder what it would mean to re-enact an event as such. Re-enacting something is already selective, pre-determined and means something ghostly different; pamėklinis is the right deffinition – that was used by Sverdiolas and translated as mere simulacric (pamėklė means a scarecrow, an undead, a phantasmagoric reminiscence, something whose reality and existence is being doubted). Selected memory shapes an epic, it sets a playground of the “national hero”, the slava of the country. What exactly makes people die for it? 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiYPw2Jj7R4

 

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Re-demption,

Re-velation,

Re-Naissance,

Re-vival,

Re-volution,

Re-Membering

Re-storative,

Re-flective…

For what I recently realized was that memory is being constructed intentionally and unintentionally; I grasped two main directions of dealing with the past that I would like to formulate more clearly in the future. But for now, I’ll try to be creative:

The first (I could call it Slavic – not because of the Slavic ethnicity, but of the word slava, that means the ‘glory’ and also the ‘knowledge’ in Russian). To feel “the glory of the past” it is to “know” without doubting, without memory gaps or interpretations; “knowing” what is wrong and right within the borders of a certain value-system. This system feels threatened by the factors that do not fit within its frame because they shake it all apart, so have to be eliminated. Re-enacted, restored memories are selected, simplified spectacles and myths. I think that the Slavic direction leads to the national hero malformation and a total hangover of the state.

The second one has much to do with “flowing” and “wandering” throughout different information and time, when the absence of information is already informative. Instead of getting rid of all the signs of decay and inventing the shiny glory, It opens a field of free interpretation and subjective memories and miss-memories, a layered doubletalk that does not necessarily has a resolution. This way of remembering through forgetting is pamėklinis. It opens a path for wandering through imaginary histories and do not dwell on the given. It is something similar to that Svetlana Boym describes as Reflective Nostalgia:

If restorative nostalgia ends up reconstructing emblems and rituals of home and homeland in attempt to conquer and spatialize time, reflective nostalgia cherishes shattered fragments of memory and temporalizes space. [2] 



[1] GLORY, GLORY! We won't let anyone govern in out motherland. Excerpts from the National Ukraine Anthem I’ve heard on live broadcast from Kiev on the night of February 21th, 2014

[2]Svetlana Boym, The Future of Nostalgia