The name of the project "Sharashka", originally referred to secret research laborites, active within the Gulag camp. This project, in accordance to its title, is also based on research as it suggests an alternative ‘laboratory’ to review a historical past in reference to the present day. The main idea behind the project is to reevaluate the distant/foreign Soviet past as a possible future of the Israeli society. The project was born as a personal reaction to on-growing radicalization in the socio-political climate in Israel: the rise of extremist fascist parties, legislation of various discriminating laws and the increasing persecution of human right activists/organizations. During the years I worked on the project, the political climate in Russia also changed dramatical
The project aims to depict a point in history that is relevant to the present day. Both countries, Israel and Russia bear some connections. For one, a large percentage of immigrants from former USSR constitute the current population in Israel. Their Soviet past has an indirect connection and influence on the Israeli political map. Furthermore, the mere establishment of the state of Israel and Labor Zionism is directly linked to the Soviet regime. The first step of the project was an excursion to camp Perm 36 – the only remaining labor camp that currently functions as a museum. Two years later (December 2014), I conducted a second trip to the camp. During the second visit I created a series of video-performances that took place within the site of the camp. Alongside these excursions I began conducting interviews with relevant parties in Israel and Russia, eventually accumulating into a vast archive.
The project results in a form of an exhibition, incorporating documentary materials alongside my own visual and conceptual interpretations; original documents, self-created objects mixed with actual artifacts, video-performances, live performances, an archive of interviews and more – all, placed, screened and performed within the walls of a simulated ‘labor camp’, at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Helena Rubinstein Pavilion. The project was showcased in the framework of "Workplace" exhibition, curator: Revital Ben Asher Peretz, May-October 2015.