A tribute to Anna Akhmatova

This project is a tribute to the tremendous work of the Russian poet Anna Akhmatova. This tribute recalls that most of her writings have been created in a state of war, political prosecution and censorship.

 

Censorship is at the center of the installation « The requiem, a tribute to A. Akhmatova ». A single carbon paper sheet was used to copy « The Requiem » into a notebook, until the carbon paper was not usable anymore. This carbon paper becomes silence, the edge beyond which you can not hear words anymore, while the sheets of the notebook are like voices, until they become almost white and whisper.

 

Here is the prologue of the poem « Requiem »:

 

« During the terrible years of Iéjov’s reign, I spent seventeen months queing in front of the prisons of Leningrad. One time, someone somehow « recognized » me. That day, a woman who was waiting behind me, a woman with blued lips who of course had never heard my name, suddenly emerged from that torpor which we were all the preys and asked me into my ear (everybody was talking with a low voice there):
- Can you describe that?
I answered:
- I can.
Then a semblance of a smile touched what once was a face. »

Eugenia Reznik © 2020