hidden features

Natalya Reznik

NOOR - Aging

Natalya Reznik was born in Perm (Russia). She studied design, then took part in several workshops organised by Fotodepartament in St-Petersburg (Fotodepartament), by Objective Reality Foundation, by Ostkreuz Agency (Berlin). In her projects she reflects political and social issues of Soviet and Post-soviet Russia (emigration, problems of elderly people, politics of Russia in the Soviet time). 

 

Her works were exhibited widely including International Photography Festival “Encontros da Imagem” (Braga, Portugal), International Photofestival FestFoto (Porto Alegre, Brazil), PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art (Perm, Russia), Metenkov’s House Museum of Photography (Ekaterinburg, Russia), International Photography Festival “Warsaw Photo Days” (Warsaw, Poland),  Ural Branch of the National Centre for contemporary arts (Ekaterinburg, Russia) etc.

 

Reznik’s first photo book “Secrets” (2014) was selected for several international festivals and photo book shows. Her second photo book “Looking for my father” was self-published in 2016. Now she is working on her third book about her grandmother “Aging”. 

 

Aging

 

“It is a project in progress about my grandmother. I’ve been working on it about 8 years. Her name is Nadezda Pavlovna, she is 92 and she lives in Perm, Russia with my mom.

She has desire to love and to be loved – and at the same time she feels being unworthy of it. She thinks that people have the laugh of her, because of her weakness (doesn’t hear properly, almost blind). Sometimes she tells that she hates herself. But she still has a hope that everything will be fine again”.

 

My grandma likes to buy and test every new ‘healing’ gadget on the market. Eyes care massager is supposed to heal tired eyes. She thinks that the massager can help her to see again.
Sometimes my granny calls my mother (her own daughter) "Baba" (Granny). My grandfather, shortly before his death, also called my mother "Mama" (Mom).
My mother Olga has been taking care of my sick grandmother for more than 25 years. She was once married, but then soon divorced. She has been living together with her mother almost the whole life.
My mother is very patient person, but sometimes she feels really exhausted. Usually, it happens when my grandmother is trying to find something in her room, which is really difficult (there is a plenty of old stuff, her eyes do not see and she forgets everything). My grandmother became annoyed and they both get angry. 
When my granny was young, she had so thick hair that she couldn’t grab them with the fingers of one hand.
In former times every morning my granny did her morning exercises. These days it happens very rarely - she became too weak for this.
My granny stays at home all the time (old house, no elevator). Sometimes she is angry and tells my mother and me: “You don’t give me keys, I can’t go outside!”. But in fact she knows that she can’t go alone without us because of her health.
our flat has not been renovated for more than 35 years. My grandmother is against any repair and any new furniture. She likes it to stay like it used to be.
Sometimes my granny sits and makes some mysterious gestures. I don’t understand what does it mean, but it is still ok, because at least she is doing something rather than being angry or crying.
On holidays our relatives come to visit us.  My granny doesn’t feel much in common with them (in her opining, they are singing not good enough). My granny used to go to the Theatre of Musical Comedy when she was young. 
My mother’s birthday. She had been preparing food for the celebration the whole day long, set the table, served the guests and tried her best to be nice. After they left she feels just tired and disappointed. My granny is trying to comfort her. 
Funeral banquet in the memory of my grandfather Aphanasy Vasiljevitch. He died in 2011, they spent with my granny more than 50 years together.
Sometimes I enter a room and see that my grandmother is lying in a very strange pose and doesn't blink. I get scared and ask if she is alright. It turns out that she just put drops in her eyes.
My mother uses eye bags for her tired eyes and glues small pieces of mustard plaster on her nose in order to prevent a cold.
My grandmother has been always interested in fashion. Even during the time of USSR, when there was not much clothes to buy in the shops, she tailored everything for her and her children by herself. Now she is almost blind, but in spite of that sometimes she tries to sew something (blindfold). For instance, she made up this hat.
After the death of her husband my granny feels very lonely. Sometimes I see that she is standing in the kitchen alone and is looking through the window. I am not sure if she is really seeing anything because of her blindness, but sometimes she says that she sees the light.