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Sincerity Is Utopian
On Monument
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On a Monument to a Nurse
"Heroism. Mercy. 1941–1945". 2005. Bronze, granite; height 5,5 m.
Khimki, Moscow Region

May 8, 2000 saw the unveiling of the central monument of the In Memoriam of Martial Glory in the town of Khimki, Moscow Region – "Heroism. Mercy. 1941-1945". The sculptural composition is by V. A. Yevdokimov, the architecture by V. N. Mikhailov, the artist A. S. Mustafin.

The two-figure composition of the monument is executed in cast bronze and stands upon a pedestal of red granite. The height of the monument is 5.5 meters.

The composition diagram of the monument is based upon the classical Evangelical topic of Pieta – mourning. Heroic self-sacrifice and requiem are the two main successive events of the time of the war. The two transitions-contacts with a transcendental character of existence. The upsurge of courage and the tragedy of loss – are emotions that do not yield to rational comprehension and which determine the value of life and other vital values.

AA theme of a piece of art cannot be expressed adequately if the same feelings that must be expressed by the theme take no part in the creative process. If war is the theme, then what takes place is the inevitable lowering of the tragedy to the drama that is accessible to artistic creation. The artist experiences the reality in his imagination and he is forced to create the harmonious cosmos of the artistic piece, which paradoxically gives the viewer the ability to come into touch with the chaos of the tragedy that was. The language of art must oppose simplification and commercial exploitation of the facts of real life, for it is this fact, taken as art, fatally shields behind the true meaning of the event and carries the perception aside.

In my work on this monument such a fact of reality could be provided by a literal following of the documentary photographic materials.

At the same time, the real tragedy of the war had to accept organically the creative interpretation of the event – spatial non-reality of the composition which originated in the result of bringing together the circular sculpture and the relief in the entire plastic movement of the form. The paradoxical energy of the prostrate body of the soldier destroys the strictly frontal perception of the sculpture and finds a reserved rhythmical rapport in the figure of the woman-warrior.

The struggle for the plastic merits of the piece, replenished with doubts and drama, has in fact turned out to be the struggle for ruthless accessibility of its true sense.

Valery Yevdokimov
May 15, 2005