floor rags,bucket. 2,5x2x2m.

Human sexual experiences are detached from the original biological purposes. However,  it is the function of procreation that is taken as a basis of the sexist view on women, when women are perceived merely as a device for catering to domestic needs, as something that “can and should be used.” The peculiarity of the Russian language gives this phenomenon an extra depth and additional opportunities for reflection. The Russian word for “sex” may refer to gender identity as well as to the floor of a room. It brings about a pun whereby lying on the floor, as well as certain domestic chores, such as sweeping and scrubbing the floor, may be jokingly referred to as sexual (floor) life.

Speaking about SEXUALITY by means of FLOOR RAGS is an attempt to understand the status of women in the still Russian-speaking space of the collapsed empire.

The installation is made from specific cloth used for cleaning. The “lowest” and cheapest kind of fabric, scouring cloth, is used to wash the floor a number of times and is disposed of shortly after. Something clean that seems dirty. Something clean to be used and soiled. Fine lace becomes the result of hard labor for the sake of cleanliness. Formally, this is a boutique, because the rags are hung like clothes on display, but the selection is rather small. The collection comes with a “catalog”  of news stories from women’s lives.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the sovereign countries are moving together deeper and deeper into the darkness of “traditional values tested throuout centuries,” where a man is always on top, and the range of social roles for women is somewhere between a cleaner and an incubator, which is served to the table as the ultimate goal and highest destination. “Domestic duties” and “you’re supposed to be a girl” are the sword of Damocles hanging over every woman since early childhood, over the years mutating into “a woman should” and “you’re a mother.” Having a vagina automatically predetermines the role of unpaid service maid and a huge guilt complex for the fact of simply being born a woman. Paradoxically, the woman’s ability to create new people, which is in fact “divine,” is becoming a determining factor in her low position. From early childhood, I strongly disagree with this state of affairs, and decided to investigate this phenomenon in order to get rid of the imposed patriarchal programs.

  1. a quote from a trainer (male) of one of popular «women’s trainings»