Kirghizian lessons

installation, video
2012

The Project of Haim Sokol “"Kirghizian lessons” consists of 5 private lessons taken on video, in which the artist takes role of a student studying Kirghizian language, one of the main migrants’ languages in Russia. Haim invites as a teacher a woman migrant from Kirghizstan, who works in Moscow as a cleaner in a restaurant. On the first glance the artsit turns upside down by this gesture the typical colonial model when the citizen of the country (often motivated by the best intetntions) teaches the newcomer the state language. In this case happens right the opposite. Moreover Haim being migrant in Russia himself doubles his migrant’s status. However the ambivalence of the situation remains, since the artist employs the teacher for money. In other words the roles of domynance\subordinacy remain: hi is still an employer ( “a master") though stayig a student , and she is still a servant though a bit more priviliged. So from the ethnical level the relationships shift to the economical one.
Additional part of this project is a video performance “Homework”. In turms of the sound the artist immitates here the style of audiocourse of foregn language in which the invisible speaker ( usually the native speaker) reads words and expressions. The student has simply to repeat the pure voice of power. Haim makes this process visible. And the viewer can see that the artist is neither a teacher not a speaker. He makes mistakes, repeats the same things, interrupts himself demostrating not only “lost in translation” state, but also the terrible difficulty of giving up the dominante role of the teacher.

Lesson of Kirghizian language: Homework from Haim Sokol on Vimeo.

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