Mikhail Tolmachev

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Talking Stone

Single-channel video and sound installation, 15min., 2020

The video installation is based on a small edition of personal photographs and memories of the Soviet soldier Vladislav Tamarov, who fought in the Soviet-Afghan War in the mid-1980s. Later, in the early 1990s, he moved to the United States, where he published a small book with the support of journalist Naomi Marcus. The work is distinguished by subtle transitions from battle scenes to the author's pre-war life and vice versa. This project tracks the ongoing reinterpretations of memory and trauma.






The Talking stone consists an artificial rock with an attached speaker and a topographically accurate digital reconstruction of the Afghan landscape described in the soldier's diary entries and captured in his personal photographs. The voice of the stone is based on descriptions of landscape sketches made by the author more than thirty years ago, as well as accounts of these same landscapes by participants in the military actions in the region during the same period.