You Will Remember This | 1664 Sundays (Black Square)

 

Diana Shpungin
You Will Remember This / 1664 Sundays (Black Square), 2018

Read, listen to or watch the story and then ask a volunteer to assist you with the potatoes and recipe

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The Political: You Will Remember This is a hand drawn-animation depictingimages of the artists’ father in his hospital bed (derived from the only known video ever taken of him months before his death) his own heavily accented voice is heard telling one of his many charismatic stories of determination and survival in the USSR in the late 1950’s, “The Potato Story”. The story explains how he acquired his first car (a soviet made Volga), collecting fifteen tons of potatoes during communist rule and an underground black market culture after being advised covertly by a government official.

(Transcription of narrative by the artist’s father, spoken in broken English):

For me, I came. “Now listen”, he said. “How could be you are responsible as a surgeon”, (this is after the heart surgery that I did.) “You are responsible for three, three district towns.”

Even I would fly with plane, for emergency. And the one time, by flying the plane I was almost killed. Was a terrible wind, smoke, we were supposed to land on the field together with the pilot. Was okay. [smiling]. Listen next, now, he said to me: “you need a car, you need a car to be flexible.”

I said, “you know sir, secretary you know that for me it is impossible to buy a car, number one. And number two and even if I had money I couldn’t buy, because you have to stay in line.”

“Oh Stupid you are.” he said, “I will help you.” We had an economical organization that would buy potatoes from a collective. They would give a little less money and they very often sell these potatoes. To buy a car, you have to sell to this organization 15 tons of potatoes.

Listen to me, you will remember this. I said, “you know sir secretary, you know I don’t have a potato plantation, and more I don’t even have 1 kilogram of potatoes at home, [laughing]and I have no time.”

“Stupid.” he said. “Go to the market and buy all the potatoes that they have, number one. Number two I am sure you have many friends whom run this collective, who have potatoes, whom sell these potatoes, they will sell to you. You will lose maybe a little money, but you will have a car right away.”

I left and didn’t give an answer. Came home, and I am a guy, if you convince me I will do everything. Three days I didn’t work, honest. I went to the market and bought a car with potatoes, three tons. Then I called up a few chiefs of these collectives and they brought me their carloads right away, another 12 tons and 100 kilograms.

I received a paper that I sold 15 tons and 100 kilograms. And I received a car.

Now….. I don’t have a driver license. I went two our, we had a car in the hospital, an emergency ambulance. (The ambulance driver), he showed me where is the wheel, he showed me where is the brake……

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The Personal:1664 Sundays (Black Square) consists of a massive pile of potatoes stacked in a public square and collected by the artist as homage to the story. Generously given out to attendees, the potato installation includes a limited amount of signed and numbered editions, custom printed paper bags with the artist’s father’s recipe—a simple recipe that he cooked for her on Sundays. The title 1664 Sundays refers to the exact amount of Sundays that both the artist and her father shared during their overlapping lifetimes. The pile and stack components of potatoes and bags directly reference the work of the late Cuban American artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres as an homage to the political, personal and art historical. The added title (Black Square) references both the black market culture as a place for exchange andpays direct homage to artist Kazimir Malevich, whom lived and died in St. Petersburg. The works configuration references Malevich’s compositional forms.

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The Political is Personal, The Private is now Public: The viewer is invited to take the recipe, cook the potatoes and construct their own new future memory influenced by the artwork.  Post your results on social media with the hash tag:#1664sundays