Early Photo Happenings. 1983-1992
The Couple. First Collaboration.
Valera and Natasha met in Moscow's metro in 1982. In the Summer of 1983 the Cherkashins went to Kharkov. They visited a lot of interesting and creative people. Natasha was involved in Valera's artistic life. She became not only the observer, but also the partisipant of some happen-ings. This was their first posing together.
Exam. Lenin is always alive.
The Cherkashins used mythology of Soviet time that "Lenin is alvays alive". They invited a group of people, who wanted to participate in the examination: Identification of works of "Art for the people" through the sense of touch.
The eyes of the participants vere closed with a black paper glasses. They were offered to make a socialist choise among several objects, which were hidden in two boxes in the table. They didn't know that all objects were identical. Than they had to find the solution and to guess what king of "art for the people" was in their hands.
Finally, they recorded the result of their researches with the closed eyes. Most of the students passed this exam successfully, but it took them a while to guess. It's him again! - they cried. It was a joy of recognition.
Lenin is always alive. Presentation of diplomas.
Presentation of diplomas for the definition of works of "Art for the people" was held in the Central Museum of Lenin. To the great surprise of the participants, the diplomas were handed to them by V.I. Lenin himself. The gala ceremony took place on the main stair of the Museum. In each diploma, lenin made his original signature.
Lenin is always alive. Excursion Held by V.I. Lenin.
After presentation of diplomas, V.I. Lenin was very excited and suggested the participants to visit his museum. He talked about interesting and historical events in his life. All the participants enjoyed the excursion.
Eating the Symbols from the Red Piano.
Valera and Natasha Cherkashin have made researches on the theme: Why the symbol of the Soviet Union was counterproductive? Because of the two crossbred male specimen: the hammer and sickle.
In 1992 they did a presentation of The Cherkashin Metropolitan Museum in A3 Municipal Art Gallery in Moscow. For the presentation the Cherkashin baked cookies in the shape of sickles and hummers.
The secret Ballot - the most secret voting in the world.
All participants were given the ballot papers with a list of exsisting parties in Russia at that moment. There was a special room/cabin, where every one could make the choise and mark the party he prefered. After that they were offered to enter another room, where they could secretly vote. That was a toilet room, with a pan. Above the pan there was an announcement "Please flash for keeping the sicret". Many people realized how they were voting in real life.
Toilets in the A-3 gallery, Moscow, February 1992.