Lena Hades

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L. Hades, 2013.
Химера загадочной русской души
Portrait of Friedrich Nietzsche
Eagle and snake. From Lena Hades' cycle Thus spake Zarathustra. 1997, 137 × 177cm.

Lena Hades (Russian: Лена Хейдиз; official name Lena Alekseevna Hades or Heidiz, Russian: Лена Алексеевна Хейдиз) (born October 2, 1959) is a Russian artist, writer and art theorist of Jewish origin.

Biography[edit]

A Russian artist, writer and art theoretician. Lena Hades was born in Siberia, while her father was on a business trip, on the day of the total solar eclipse on October 2, 1959.[1] Her father worked as communication engineer, her mother was a physician. At the age of 35 the future artist's father got ill with multiple sclerosis and died at the age of 51. Lena, his daughter, took care of the father herself till the day of his death, January 17, 1985. Memories about her father and his tragic life had a great impact on the artist. It is the father's disease that triggered her interest in the concept of death, and also in the philosophical problems of existence – the main topics of her creative works.[2] Lena Hades graduated from Moscow State Pedagogical University in1982 (Faculty of Physics and Mathematics), and she also completed higher foreign language courses (Spanish, Italian, Polish, French, German, English), and worked as a translator for many years. Being 35, she decided to become an artist, and in 1995 she left for Germany. In Cologne she created her first works and sold her first painting, gaining the first fee.[3] In 1995–1997 she created more than 30 paintings, devoted to "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Nietzsche. For her, these works are visual metaphors, not mere illustrations.[4] The series of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" paintings is unique, as there is no more powerful, picturesque, clear and accurate representation of aphoristic expressions in the world than this one.[5] In 1997 the oil painting and graphic cycle "Also Sprach Zarathustra" was exhibited in the Institute of Philosophy of Russian Academy of Sciences. In 2004 the Russian Academy of Sciences published a bilingual edition of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" by Nietzsche – in Russian and German. The cover and the jacket of the book are decorated with two paintings by Lena Hades. The book also contains twenty other works from this cycle. Her paintings are in collections of the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the Igor Markin Museum of contemporary art, the Pushkin Museum, the State Tretyakov Gallery etc. The works of the above series were also exhibited at the First Moscow Biennale of contemporary art in 2005, in the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences in 1997 and in the State Kashyrka Gallery in 1998. She is living and working in Moscow.

Famous works[edit]

Lena Hades is known worldwide not only for her painting and graphic cycle "Also Sprach Zarathustra", but also for two other paintings of hers, which Russian nationalists deem Russophobian. Therefore, in March 2008 the group of Russian nationalists (over300 people) took legal action against the artist, since in their opinion these two paintings provoke "racial and nationalistic hostility and hatred". The first work is called "Welcome to Russia" (1999). It was purchased by Igor Markin Museum of Contemporary Art,[6] the name of the other painting is "The Chimera of the mysterious Russian soul" (1996). It was exhibited only once, at the Second Moscow Biennale of contemporary art in 2005. Russian nationalists were offended by the fact that the artist depicted the Russian soul as a horrible monster with a bottle of vodka in the hand, an accordion, a book by Dostoyevsky and with a satellite. The nationalists decided that this was a parody to the state emblem of Russia and the offence of the very country and its people. Painting called "Welcome to Russia" shows a real unadorned Russian character, as both too aggressive and very god-fearing. The nationalists decided that this truth was offensive. .[7]

Political pressing[edit]

In June 2010 Lena Hades was summoned to testify on the above two paintings to Basmannaya prosecutor's office, Moscow, she was threatened to be tried and heavily fined, since she could have been accused of hatred and hostility propaganda.[8] [9]

Art activism[edit]

July 6, 2012, Lena Hades announced a hunger strike[10] supporting the Pussy Riot band.[11] She demanded to free those members of the punk band in custody. The hunger strike lasted 25 days and entailed serious health problems.[12] and resulted in severe health problems.[13] During the hunger strike and before that the artist created the series of portraits of Pussy Riot. Several sites mention the politic pressure on Hades.[14][15][16]

March 3, 2015, Lena Hades started the art marathon in memory of Boris Nemtsov, making every day a lot Nemtsov's portraits. She said she will be stop drawing the assassinated politician's portraits only when a person or people who ordered this murder are arrested and brought to trial,[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Autobiographic series[edit]

The above works are an absolute contrast to the autobiographic series of paintings "A Girl with bows". The work called "A girl with bows, the woman that mows. The Dance" is a personal confession made by the artist herself. It is in this painting that she bravely and courageously shows the poly-semantic world of the kingdom of death. Aides is the god of the dead. This depiction of the kingdom of death is not related to the Christian world, It is closer to Nietzsche's image of the Hell "even god possesses his hell – which is his love to people". Painting "A girl with bows, the woman that mows.The Dance" is the climax of the whole series. This image of the dance around pagan fires enables the artist to communicate as a peer with supernatural forces, undergo initiation by fire. It is the fire of death that helped to transform and strengthen her spirit. There is no more fear, the horror of death has been overcome. This provides an opportunity and power to possess the sacred theme of death. Graphic cycle of scalp works proves that Lena Hades is an artist and a person, who can live on the edge of life and death and bear this knowledge to people in her artwork.[23]

Books[edit]

Press about Lena Hades[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Встреча с Леной Хейдиз [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). Site Nietzsche.ru. Retrieved October 15, 2003. 
  2. ^ Встреча с Леной Хейдиз [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). Site Nietzsche.ru. Retrieved October 15, 2003. 
  3. ^ Встреча с Леной Хейдиз [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). Site Nietzsche.ru. Retrieved October 15, 2003. 
  4. ^ Так (не) говорил Заратустра – параллельная программа 1 Московской биеннале [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). Museums News. Retrieved 2005-02-03. 
  5. ^ Так (не) говорил Заратустра – параллельная программа 1 Московской биеннале [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). Museums News. Retrieved 2005-02-03. 
  6. ^ Художники: Хейдиз Лена [Artists: Lena Hades] (in Russian). ART4.RU Contemporary Art Museum. Retrieved 2013-12-13. 
  7. ^ "Artist Sued for Russophobia". Russia-InfoCentre. May 8, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  8. ^ В картинах Лены Хейдиз обнаружили экстремизм [In pictures Lena Hades found extremism]. Kasparov.ru (in Russian). June 15, 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-12. 
  9. ^ Химера Басманной прокуратуры [Chimera of the Basmanny district court]. newtimes.ru/ (in Russian). June 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ Hades, Lena (July 6, 2012). "Голодовка в поддержку Pussy Riot" [Hunger strike in support of Pussy Riot] (in Russian). Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. 
  11. ^ Hades, Lena (July 6, 2012). "Голодовка в поддержку Pussy Riot" [Hunger strike in support of Pussy Riot] (in Russian). Archived from the original on January 11, 2016. 
  12. ^ Hades, Lena (August 11, 2012). "What is Pussy Riot?" [What is Pussy Riot?]. 
  13. ^ Hades, Lena (August 6, 2012). проблемы [Problems] (in Russian). Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. 
  14. ^ Krainova, Natalya (June 22, 2010). "Artist Investigated in Test of Extremism Law". The Moscow Times. 
  15. ^ "Artist Lena Hades Accused of Russophobia". Russia-InfoCentre. June 22, 2010. 
  16. ^ Griffin, Rose (June 12, 2010). "The art of revolution". The Moscow News. 
  17. ^ "Московская художница хочет провести арт-марафон памяти Немцова". Belaruspartizan. Retrieved March 9, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Погибший Минотавр". Radio Svoboda. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  19. ^ "Endless Portrait". Radio Svoboda. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ "Artist Lena Hades continues "art marathon" in memory of Boris Nemtsov". The Calvert Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Московская художница нарисовала 83 портрета Немцова в знак протеста". Gazeta.ru. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Российская художница устроила арт-марафон в память о Немцове". Национальная Служба Новостей. Retrieved April 2, 2015. 
  23. ^ Hades art catalogue, 1999, p. 29.

External links[edit]