Polite Fish (2015)
The core of the project is a research into the interplay between the Russian and Asian cultures historically coexisting on the territories of the Russian Far East. The problem of identity for a Russian living in the Primorsky Krai is that the more one emphasizes one’s «Russian-ness», the more one starts to resemble their Asian neighbor, for whom this Russian is often the first experience of a cultural «Other.»
The author identifies the pressure points in the exchanges between the two cultures as well as their mutual influence on one another in moments of encounter on border territories. The phenomenon of the «polite fish» — a situation of contradictions between two opposite poles, two sides of the same coin, highlighting the difference between an external show of politeness and the internalized wariness inherent to the Asian world.
The project was created in ZARYA Artist-in-Residence