Artist Profile



The war in Afghanistan had a dramatic impact on my life. In the Soviet school system there were compulsory courses called military preparations for beginners. Lessons included introduction to the weapons: pistols, rifles, submachine guns, machine guns, grenades, and so on. I learnt how to take these weapons apart and use them. The last two years was spent preparing students for the army. I won a number of competitions between schools and received a sharpshooter’s badge. My teacher told me that he was proud to deliver to the Soviet Army a good marksman. That is when I realised that the play with paper targets was over: I was heading to Afghanistan.

I refused to join the army because of the war in Afghanistan. I told the military office, ‘I simply don’t want to kill anybody or be killed.’ Next morning I was picked up from my flat by uniformed people and delivered to the Republic Psychiatric Hospital where they subjected me to insulin shock therapy for three months. I was given the diagnosis of schizophrenia

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Artist Profile

Artist Profile5 min read
Ways of Seeing Tom Polo
As an academic discipline, the history of art is predominantly taught through the medium of painting. Specifically, it is the development of figurative and representational painting which forms a fundamental part of Western art historical pedagogy. T
Artist Profile3 min readTech
Art + Social Media
Over eighty years ago, the philosopher Walter Benjamin proposed that while works of art have always, in principle, been reproducible, ‘mechanical reproduction of a work of art … represents something new’. Benjamin celebrated the potential that the te
Artist Profile3 min read
The Artist's Hand Aida Tomescu
Tomescu says while in Paris she spent nearly every day at the Louvre, giving a day to the work of one artist at a time. One day it was Ingres’ nudes, another it’s Watteau’s landscape scenes, another Giotto’s St Francis Receiving the Stigmata – always