OKHA/WINDOWS by Elizaveta Maltseva
Image: Elizaveta Maltseva, OKHA/Windows, 2019 at Peel Street Park. Image by Bernie Phelan (detail).
OKHA/Windows is part of Elizaveta Maltseva’s research into migrant melancholia and cultural artefacts. Exploring themes of identity and performativity, she uses her own family’s migration from Russia in the 1990s as both a case study and point of departure for her visual material.
Maltseva states that while her parents tried to raise her as a ‘good Russian girl’, she had no real life experience of what that might look like, as her family had settled into a very homogenous Anglo Australian community. Not until the family had satellite television installed in their home, in her mid-teens, was she finally provided with a window onto this compelling world. Late at night, when her parents were sleeping, Maltseva would watch hours of Russian television. In the early 2000s, Maltseva became obsessed with Russian television talk shows, watching them for the ‘social issues’ they unpacked, but it was actually the audience members that she paid the closest attention to. She studied the way the women dressed; did their hair; reacted to the discussions; and occupied the space of their seats.
More than a decade later, Maltseva has revisited these trashy popular culture talk shows and is examining the role they played in her own cultural performativity.
OKHA/Windows was part of the Yarra City Arts Peel Street Park Projection Program, from Wednesday 01 May 2019 - Sunday 02 June 2019.