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Geometric Geography series
mixed media
2004-2005

"Alina and Jeff Bliumis. in their pictorial series entitled geometric geography, generalize their experience of emigration associated with dramatic transition from the socialist - above-the-individual - reality into the context of other cultural and national identifications. In the creation of this series, the artists used the industrial materials and production processes, whereby provoking the conflict with work's highly personal content."
text: Olga Kopenkina

Geometric Geography, Example 5-6 appears from a distance as a Star of David, however, it is constructed from more than 1500 Soviet Union-issued gold star pins from the former communist country21. The Star of David is emblematic of the mass Jewish emigration from Russia to the States. Of particular interest, each pin displays the child portrait of the founder of the Russian Communist Party, Vladimir Lenin. It is significant to note that these pins were worn by Soviet elementary school children and are well remembered by the artists. To Alina and Jeff, the pins resonate with the mandatory membership in the "Oktjabrjata" party (children of the October Revolution) and thus were issued as a way to demark citizens alliance (October refers to Lenin's Socialist Revolution, which began in October of 1917). The artists used state-issued pins to further emphasize their relationship to the former Soviet Union. Jeff rationalizes the pieces further by stating, "the radical transformation from a Soviet school child - under a symbol of a five corner star to a member of a Jewish emigration - under the symbol of a six corner star is the idea behind Geometric Geography: Example 5-6. The work emphasizes the transition from the socialist reality into a nationally and politically based movement".
text: Elisa Tjin and Sylvia Borda
Digital Vision 2005, University of British Columbia/ read full text

installation view, Moscow Museum Of Modern Art, Moscow

Geometric Geography, Example 5-6
Pigmented plastic, Soviet era pins with a portrait of Lenin as a child
83 x 83 in
2004-2005

detail

In Geometric Geography, Example 1, a large graphic appears representing a fingerprint. Typically fingerprints are collected when applying for a driver's license, citizenship, or are used for other government-related applications19. When the viewer moves closer to the graphic image, it becomes apparent that the fingerprint is constructed from a series of rubber shoeprints. As mentioned earlier, the fingerprint represents the first step in the immigration process wherein the rubber shoeprints arguably indicate that first step into the new country
text: Elisa Tjin and Sylvia Borda
Digital Vision 2005, University of British Columbia

Geometric Geography, Example 1
Pigmented plastic, rubber
83 x 83 in
2004-2005

detail

Geometric Geography, Example 12
Pigmented plastic
28 x 83 in
2004-2005

Geometric Geography, Example 7-11
Pigmented plastic, Soviet era pins with a portrait of Lenin as a child
28 x 83 in
2004-2005