Secrets (2012 – 2014)

Secrets – It was the name of very popular children’s game in USSR. Mostly, 5-8 years old girls were involved in this game. It was not just a game, but rather mystic ritual. I also loved this game and my friends did love it.

Each person made a small pit in the ground, put there some “treasure” of her (such as broken old accessuaries of our mothers, candy wrappers, small flowers, details of toys and other «garbage», which we appreciated very much), covered by a fragment of broken glass and buried into the ground. It was the most important secret of each of us and no one should know where is it. It can be shown only to the best friend.

Then we leaved this secret in the ground for some days, but we should remember where is it, if you forget – you never find it!

After some time we revealed it again and see – what happens with these treasures in the ground. The ground was an other world and putting the treasures into the ground meant something like burial of something intimate. Sometimes we could not find our secrets, sometimes the flowers were rotten or someone found it and the secret was stolen.

My project is about women who moved to Germany from USSR about 15-20 years ago. The main reason for moving was the repatriation of their families, who were captives, deported, displaced persons during and after World War II (so called «Russian Germans»).

I proposed them to remember this game and to recreate it here, in Germany in order to make the secrets from objects which they saved from USSR. Every person could put into the secret what they keep in memory from that Soviet time and store in their homes (and in their souls).