In the research area of Irek Shamanaev, the collective body of the community and its connection with the flesh of the forest. Memories of trauma are somewhere between memory and knowledge, something that determines our perception of the present. It seems that working with the topic of post-memory is an important request that has been going on since the 2010s. Large projects by Pavel Otdelnov, Chaim Sokol, and “Bakal” by Anastasia Bogomolova are devoted to this topic. Mecan muštond Shamanova watches how faces dissolve in the forest, a fear that we could not witness ourselves, but which is so easily reproduced. Quiet, shut up, they know better from above. 

Maria Morina, interdisciplinary artist and curator.

Mecan muštond 

(Memory of the Forest)

Collective memory and human trace in time, recorded by the forest. 

Forests live much longer than generations of people; for example, pine trees live for 350 years. Mushroom mycelium binds the roots of trees, creating one living organism. The forest remembers those times when people knew how to communicate with spirits and Sacred trees connected three worlds together: the Underground, where evil spirits and diseases lived, the Middle with people and the Upper, with the supreme spirits and souls of the dead. He remembers how people came and talked with the trees and the souls of their ancestors in the treetops. How the Vepsian speech gradually disappeared, spirits were expelled from lakes and temples were built, which were later destroyed. They printed and then burned the primers. Executions. The war, when the trunks were entangled with barbed wire and torn by shells. He remembers how the earth was saturated with the blood of thousands of people who lie under the roots and became part of the forest, part of memory. Fear settled in the land and forest. Fear peeks out from the dark corners of the forest and from the corners of the eyes. The forest remembers.

The Forest still remembers.