Olga Chagaoutdinova

chagaoutdinovaBorn in Khabarovsk. Graduated from the Khabarovsk Pedagogical Institute, specialization in linguistics (1993). Bachelor’s degree in photographic studies at the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, Vancouver. Master’s degree from Concordia University, Montreal (2008). Solo exhibitions in Khabarovsk, Montreal, Havana and Ottawa.


The “Storm-Ache” video is a visual-artistic metaphor for the role of human life in the course of history and the processes that affect people in the modern world. We are born knowing one incontrovertible thing, that we will die. We cannot predict with any accuracy the events in our personal lives, historical and social processes, or any other changes. The wave is a metaphor for events that touch, overwhelm or pass by us. The body of a female artist is an obstacle to the oncoming waves, to their relentless charge. In the ninth thesis of Walter Benjamin’s “On the Concept of History,” he talks about a storm that gets caught up in an angel’s wings. The storm is so strong that the angel is unable to close its wings, and drives it irresistibly into the future, to which its back is turned. And in the video “Storm-Ache” the waves that emerge behind the women’s back, covering her, push her into the future, into the unknown, into which another wave will inevitably crash. “That which we call progress, is this storm,” as Benjamin concludes his thesis. In “Stone-Ache,” the body of the female artist is like a crashing wave. She, the art­ist, touches the body of the earth, and becomes a part of erosion, of destruction. While in “Storm-Ache” we observe the process of opposition, here the body fully submits to the invisible and implacable move­ment of the earth. The shift from opposing the forces of nature (“Storm-Ache”) to fully accepting them and even death are end-points and simultaenously starting-points.

The rhythm of the waves and the erosion of earth and stone are material evidence of time. Every mo­ment of history, whether local or global, or more accurately their union, takes place in the act of si­multaneous destruction and creation. We build the future while destroying the past — this is the na­ture of time and of memory. We become involved in this process via the body of the artist.

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