Timur Musaev-Kagan

My Homeland Sky -
Unter Dem Himmel
Meines Landes

installation, video

Site: Lutheran Church

The building of the Vladikavkaz Lutheran Church (now - a branch of the Mariinsky Theater), built at the initiative and with donations of representatives of the German community of Ossetia in 1911, became for its parishioners and all German colonists a center of attraction and a real, visible embodiment of their nostalgic thoughts about a distant homeland. The Gothic building of the church directed towards the sky is like a finger pointing to the sky.

It was these heavens that overshadowed the inhabitants of Michelsdorf, Gradenburg, Waldheim, Emmaus and other German farms and settlements located in the vicinity of Vladikavkaz. It was to them that they turned in prayer, for where, if not in heaven, is the celestial throne found?

The descent of this heaven into the building of the church will become a simple and majestic act of perpetuating the memory of these people who lived, worked and continue to live and work for the benefit of their new homeland.

Photographing the sky above the former German settlements in North Ossetia, I collectуv a kind of catalog, a kind of attributed "cloudy" or "heavenly" atlas documenting something elusive and illusory, akin to nostalgia, hope and historical memory.

The photographs of the sky were transferred on the flags’ fabric placed in the building of the Lutheran church. The tradition of placing flags and colors in Gothic castles and cathedrals has a long history associated with the perpetuation and exaltation of the glory of orders of knights and nobility, clans and families. I am trying to continue this tradition, with the difference that my flags do not depict symbols, emblems or signs, not bright "speaking" colors or their combinations, nothing that can evoke associations, awaken heightened patriotic feelings and emotions. No, this is something completely opposite, - traces of an elusive era, echoes of memory, unstable, but at the same time eternal, like time itself.

Heaven and clouds are like music. They float above our heads, acquire their unique outlines, develop, become more complex, lock themselves into loops and phrases, die down and fade away on the horizon. The clouds echo the melodic pattern and rhythm. The music born is carried away into the sky, as if having once come from there, it returns.

The slightest swaying of the wind, the movement of air in the hall affects the behavior of the panels, whose light swaying enhances the meditative and romantic atmosphere created in the hall by the very presence of large fragments of the sky. Strengthening the emotional and aesthetic impact on the viewer achieved not only and not so much by the conceptual component of the project but by his/her participatory function.

The German romantic literary and musical tradition turns to the images of the natural elements in order to find answers to the main human questions in them. Those associated with the idea of the spirit of the people, and its fate stand out among them. Asking about the place of your homeland, about its place not only on a geographical map, but in every heart, also refers to the most important ones.

This project, though it may not recover certain gaping losses in the annals of national memory, is at least able to draw attention to these important historical pages linking two cultures, two peoples.

The participants of the performance are residents of Vladikavkaz.

Press keys
to view the scroll effects