Leonid Tishkov (Russia)
Uman, 2016
Installation, mixed media

The concept ofdisplacement”, introduced into psychoanalysis by Freud, is a tendency of the human mind to forget traumatic experiences which, however, is not entirely possible to achieve. Displacement tends to return in a changed form such as recurring nightmares and horrors. Therefore, in order to outlive the grief a person has to make a certain effort and its first phase is “processing” which implies acceptance of your memory and recognition of the fact that a certain traumatic event has really taken place. Lately the theory of psychoanalysis has been enriched with a new discovery. As it turns out, the traumas, especially the ones that have not been overcome, can be inherited by your descendants who may start experiencing them as their own. Marianne Hirsch calls this phenomenon post-memory. Many of Leonid Tishkov’s works, in which he addresses his family history and his parents’ tragic biography, corroborate this idea. In the early days of the war, in August 1941, the artist’s father Alexander Ivanovich Tishkov found himself in the Uman encirclement, where the Sixth, the Twelfth, and the Twenty-sixth armies of the South and the South-West Fronts were surrounded by the Germans. As a prisoner-of-war he spent a long time in the camp at Uman and later was moved to Stalag 326 in the district of Stukenbrock where he was liberated by the American army. In December 1945, he returned to his home in the Urals having spent time in the NKVD camp Borisenko at Frankfurt-on-Oder where he had undergone “filtration”. He never talked about his war experiences, probably because he had signed a secrecy paper, or maybe because he had simply “displaced” those events from his memory. His son became obsessed with the task of reconstructing those events through “processing”. Leonid Tishkov managed to find in the internet the report of his father’s interrogation by the NKVD. The report shed much light on the circumstances of his imprisonment. Leonid also collected scanty but scaring evidence left by the survivors of the Uman encirclement. Finally he came across a German photograph with the following inscription: “Negative № 1.13/22. Uman. Ukraine. Russia. Date: 14 August 1941. 50,000 Russian military have been collected in Uman.” Tishkov studied the picture closely trying to find his father among the prisoners, but he failed and printed out an enlarged photograph on paper. His archive also contains a photograph of his father in military uniform made shortly before the war, and a black button from that uniform which he discovered in his mother’s lifetime collection of buttons. That button became a fetish for Tishkov and finally he made a bronze monument out of it. Having identified himself with his father he saw in his life the fate of millions of similar lives reflecting the fate of his generation. His father’s generation had been immortalized in Mikhail Sholokhov’s The Fate of Man, one of the best works of war prose. That was how it occurred to Tishkov that the name “Uman” suggests associations with the word “human” and all that is associated with humans and humanity in most European languages. 

Viktor Misiano

From brochure TIME AND SENSES. Trauma, memory, oblivion, knowledge. Project THE HUMAN CONDITION  SESSION III
Exhibition “The Haunted House” December, 1, 2017 – January, 28, 201 in


Forms of Future

Forms of Future exhibition in Krokin gallery from 16th November 2017.
Dedicated to Russian cosmist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky.

Tyumen suffering

Leonid Tishkov UNMARKED, 2017
Installation: Tyumen carpet, found clothes, wood. 

The artist learned about the tragic fate of his grandfather, Tishkov Ivan Grigorievich, only a few years ago. He did not have a single photo of his grandfather, not a single document. There was only a little information avaliable from the Memory Book of the Tyumen region that Ivan Grigorievich was from the village of Korkino in the Sverdlovsk region, was exiled to the Yagodny village of the Kondinsky district, and then was arrested and shot in Tyumen on December 10, 1937. 80 years have passed since his grandfather’s death, but Leonid continues to look for the place of his last refuge; the artist’s soul is restless until he finds the unmarked grave. "The local carpet is black like Tyumen land itself, on which flowers unplanted by me grow; this is the image of my memory of my grandfather and that I must find his grave while I have time," says the artist.

 Leonid Tishkov The KNITLING (VYAZANIK), 2002, installation as part of the "Work never stops" exhibition. Tyumen carpet and textiles contemporary artists. Until 21 January 2018 in Tyumen Arts Center. 4th Urals Industrial Biennale of Arts

Private Moon in Paliano

Private Moon in Paliano, 16-18 November 2017


The Threadbare Flags of My Radiant Motherland

The Threadbare Flags of My Radiant Motherland

I'm interested in fabric, but not the fabric that is sold in cuts in stores. I’m not into new fabrics, in those fresh clean threads, direct from the machine and soaked in fresh paint. I'm interested in fabric that has been worn, that lived a long life together with its owner. Clothing means a lot in our frigid region, a place where the snow still covers the ground in May, and where in October it's time to put on quilted jackets. Clothes were repaired yes, and they were also inherited. When a person died, their wardrobe was distributed among relatives. And when things became too ragged to wear, they were cut into pieces, which were used to weave rugs or were taken to an old woman to weave floor runners. From this dilapidated fabric, from these worn out rags, people made round crochets that they put on the courtyard floors of their homes. Newer, brighter crochets were put inside the house, at the front door, on chairs, on the couch, at the foot of an armchair and by the bed, to tread on them with bare feet. The floors’ wooden planks, painted with the brown oil paint, were cool to the touch, and made you shiver with the cold in winter. Without these rugs, you could completely freeze your feet, that’s how cold it was in our houses.
My mother used to wake me up on cold dark mornings. I always tried to get dressed right under the blanket, and only after managing that did I get up and have a wash.  The rugs, like colorful warm islands under my feet, kept me warm. Those round rugs seemed to preserve the memory of those many people who used to wear the clothing from which they had been made, clothes that had been torn to ribbons, deemed useless, worn out, or irrelevant after the demise of their owners. Such a rug preserves the memory of the departed and exudes the light of their memory, almost as if it were a digital disc.
These memory laden carpets now lie at the entrance to rooms, greeting those who arrive. They welcome visitors like a round, bright, warm sun. The round rug recalls the main symbol of the Slavs, the solar disk, making such rugs solar symbols. The visitors enter the gornitsa, an elevated room, which was the brightest one in traditional houses, and was said to be where the sun lived, with its windows pierced by the rays of the bright noon sunshine. That is why it is called svetyolka or svetlitsa(the room of light). This room was usually located on the upper floor of the house, where young girls were spinning and knitting, embroidering and cutting clothes, painting, singing songs, and gossiping. The windows, on all four walls, have carved wooden frames; the light is the master here. We leave, but the light remains.

Flag of my Motherland. 2017
Metal, wood, old carpet from family of the artist.
XII Krasnoyarsk Biennale "Word and Village". 

Lightroom. 2017
Wood, glass, neon, LED, windows from late house. 
XII Krasnoyarsk Biennale "Word and Village". 
Photo by V. Dmitrienko


Private Moon in Lipetsk

Private moon exhibition in Lipetsk Aplied and Folk Arts until 3th September 2017


Floating Moon

The Moon Draft. Floating Moon in Art-Ovrag Fest in Vyksa. 2017


Art Innovation Prize

Look At Your Home in Arsenal NCCA, Nizhny Novgorod. 


Look Homeward

Look Homeward installation at Schusev State
Museum of Architecture from 26 May until 25 June 2017.  Exhibition of Art Innovation Prize


Private Moon in Venice

Private Moon installtion in Palazzo  Soranzo Van Axel "Man as Bird: Images of Journeys", showcases the work of 14 Russian and foreign artists working with different media


The Moon of William Blake

I want! I want! The moon of William  Blake. 2017

Metal, acrylic glass, LED

The English poet and artist William Blake has a small engraving, which he created in 
1793 for the book of his poems The Gates of Paradise. It was signed by the author 
"I want!, I want!", on it a young man put a ladder to the moon and tries to climb up. 
It is this desire to reach the moon that arises us when we see a real ladder to heaven. 
Let the ladder attached to the waning moon, but the desire of the impossible 
overcomes prudence.The installation is located on the roof of the school, in which 
young people receive knowledge, faith in the dream. The school as the base of the 
stairs to the moon, as the first step to a dream. 

All works as part of Museum of the Imaginary Moons ( 2003-2017)
Ichihara Art x Mix 2017, Japan

The Moon of Taneda Santoka

Somewhere the moon wanders. Moon of Taneda Santoka. 2017

Metal, acrylic glass, LED

Moon dedicated to the Japanese poet Taneda Santoka. 
He was a poet-stranger, his life passed in wanderings. 
So I imagined his moon as a vagabond with a stick. 
The crescent in round spectacles, 
in a broad-brimmed hat, the wanderer is not known where with the 
stick of a Zen monk. Young moon of the old poet who wrote the immortal lines:

Now again all day
Walked towards the wind.

Without a goal, to wander and wander.
The moon follows me.

Coming home
All in the moonlight.

Wanders around the world
My old hat
Frost covered

Ichihara Art x Mix 2017, Япония



The Knitling performance

The Vyazanik (The Knitling) performance in NCCA Arsenal, December - January 2017

The Boy and the Moon performance

The Boy and the Moon performance in NCCA Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod, December - January 2017


Private Moon in Nizhny Novgorod

Private Moon installation at NCCA Arsenal, Nizhny Novgorod until 12 February 2017