Photos > Archive: "Empty" room > Bare hooks in the empty room
expand/collapse this text box Summary
Space remaining in the storage room after the recent death of a neighbor. This is the apartment from the clip "Kamila, Lena, and Yulya" in Tour 5. 1997.
expand/collapse this text box Basic Facts and Background
When: 1997

Where: The common storage room in a large apartment in a prestigious neighborhood in the center of St. Petersburg. We see this room in the photograph "The "empty" room".

Who: Galya, who has lived in this apartment for around twenty years; Ilya, an anthropologist who is paying her a visit in order to take photos of the apartment and interview her; Nikolay, the photographer.

What: The bare hooks in one corner of the storage room (of an "empty" room) are due to the recent death of a tenant: this space used to be hers and her possessions have been removed from the closet. This is somewhat unusual: often things belonging to people long dead remain in the storage room, even when no one remembers whose they are. None of the tenants wants to deal with throwing them away, unless space needs to be freed up in the closet for some newly-arrived junk.

In this particular case, the hooks and the space had been made available, but when informant Galya, a long-time resident of the apartment who was present at the photo shoot, saw Ilya asking specifically to take a picture of that empty corner, she picked up a set of vacuum cleaner brushes lying nearby (visible in the lower right hand corner of the picture) and hung them on a hook, saying as she did so, "It just won't look right if it's completely bare."

Click the image to see a larger, uncropped version.
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