THE MEMORY OF THINGS
An installation of sound and video (sound by Andris Indāns)
For several years now, Alexandra comes over once a month to give us pedicures. We are the women of three generations – mother, daughter and grandmother. Alexandra spends an hour on each of us. Since my feet are in the worst condition of us three, the time that is left over after grandmother’s pedicure is set aside for me. Grandmother’s feet are like those of a baby – no thickened heels, no corns. As for mine and my mother’s feet, everything has gone wrong. Even our toes resemble those of a frog. Alexandra treats us with a dry pedicure. She has the right qualifications, and on top of that, works as a nurse in a psychiatric ward on Tvaika street. Using a small scalpel, just like a sculptor, she contours my feet back into their correct shape. After she leaves, there is a pile of shredded skin on the floor from the feet of three generations of women; everything in the vicinity is covered with a thin coat of skin-dust. As far as I am concerned, all of this should just be burned. Otherwise, a great amount of our personal bio-information ends up in the public waste stream. As I sweep the skin shreds into the shovel and throw them into the bin, my heart always races.