Elizaveta Gershkovich



This year I started to work on my final BcA project called “UNKNOWN”, a part of long time project «Russian character».

For 3 years I was traveling to Russia and making projects connected to our country. I started with overview of countryside «Maikor». I concentrated on the landscapes, architecture, details of the interior etc. 3 photos from these series were presented on the exhibition in Lestans, Italy. On the second trip I payed more attention to portraits of people, who live in the countryside. The third trip was connected with «nursing home» and people who live there. The fourth trip was more kitschy and fun, I concentrated on the habits of Russian man (in Russia many men are wearing only panties at home without any other clothes). These photo series were shown on the exhibition in «Matmos» gallery in Prague, Czech Republic.

The idea of my final project «UNKNOWN» came to me in summer 2016 when I was driving to cemetery, where my great-grandfather and great-grandmother are buried. On the way there, I found a small cross in the middle of the field on which was written „Unknown people, 58“, „Неизвестные 58“. This number represents the number of people were buried in this place. It shocked me. I tried to find answers why are so many people buried in one place. The answer is: many people are perished each day. Someone can die out of his home, someone has no relatives, someone’s relatives are far away… and so on. When a person dies, his body is transpired to mortuary house where the body can stay from 1 week to 1 month. This time is not enough for finding relatives; in fact, no one in mortuary is trying to do that. If no one comes there to find this person, his corpse will be buried in common place with other without name and day, he can just get one number, and that will be the end of the story.

This episode was the starting point of my project. I decided to make a web page, which can help people to find their relatives and bury them in the normal way.

So, I started to work on this.