That. There. Then. is based on an iconic Soviet television show called What? Where? When? This six-channel installation recreated the architecture and staging of the original TV studio through four viewpoints, accompanied with a video projection of the artist’s family in their actual home. In the original game show, a panel of 6 experts brainstorm in order to answer questions sent in by viewers. The artist’s real family asks the ”fake” family a question in the staged TV show. The question refers to the change of street names that occurred in the Eastern Block after the collapse of the USSR; all streets, parks, buildings, monuments, etc. that were named after Lenin, Marx, Engels or any other ideological Communist writers and leaders were changed, sometimes more than once, depending on the government changes, as an attempt to erase history. After a minute of thinking, the fake family suddenly leaves the studio and the moderator loses all self-control. The system that was created by the TV show collapses with final attempts to control the family through oppressive subtitles. The narrative then shifts to the points of view of the actors that are shown on the monitors. The actors leave the studio and walk on a dark street in South Tel Aviv, and it becomes apparent that it is the real family that is walking the street, and not the actors.
Eduardovna’s work reconstructs narratives of an autobiographical nature that are relevant to a collective experience, examining issues of migration and identity in flux through non-linear storytelling. She was born and raised in the falling Communist USSR and matured as a Russian immigrant in Israel. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the immigration wave that followed is a phenomenon that the artist investigates as both a personal experience and a global one: a contemplation on the loss of communist ideals that promised to lead the world to a brighter future, their disassembly and navigation in a constant search of a new place.
Her work presents the familial structure as a model of the society as a whole, examining the changes that occur in the family once it has been displaced to a different societal structure, and/or once the social structure collapses, and vice versa.
Ira Eduadovna was born in the former USSR and currently resides in New York. She received her MFA from Hunter College in 2011 and a Bachelor degree in Art and Education from Tel Aviv University in 2004. She had a solo exhibition at Braverman gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2012. Her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and screenings in New York, Israel, Greece, Italy, Japan, Finland, China, and elsewhere.