Sunday, April 22, 2012

Collage 747 -- Konetz!

The End!

I'm going to take a leap here and try apply Tolstoy's thoughts to our project.

The Epilogue is all about his ideas about history, and  whether or not the individual has control. The individual vs. the collective. The last few paragraphs he talks about the laws of astronomy, and how people perceive the immobility of the earth and planets. Which was proven to be incorrect centuries ago. What is true about this project? Individual effort, or something else?

Something -- that is very hard to identify -- drove this project. We worked together, side-by-side, for over 2 years. A real labor of love. We each made our individual contributions, and yet there were larger forces at play. I have often thought of this project in anthropomorphic terms -- it indeed has had a life of it's own. Even though I started the project and have seen it through to it's conclusion -- the Moscow International Book Fair June 8-12, then onto Yasnaya Polyana, the epicenter of everything Tolstoy -- it is still a mystery in a way.

Even though we finished making the collages in February, it has been a pleasure to continue to blog each day. I feel so close to this project; it is hard to say "goodbye". I have learned so much in so many ways. About commitment, about creativity, but mostly about friendship.

This last collage is based on a birthday card that Team Tolstoy made for me last year when I turned 50 on May 28. It seemed like a fitting end, to include the work of all of us on the final piece.

Hats off, Team Tolstoy! What an incredible journey it's been.
My love to you all, always. -- Lola

Lola Baltzell
from page 751-752, volume 2 of original text
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1214-1215

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Collage 746

For months now I've been mulling over what would be a fitting final post for the War and Peace Project blog. The imminent departure of Lola and others for Yasnaya Polyana- where the full-scale exhibit will open in just a few days- is a prompt to get on with it!

Five contributors had a hand in this collage, which started out as a birthday greeting to Lola. Not one of our drop-dead best, but it has it all: five pairs of hands, using materials that spanned the project-old children's book imagery featured early on overlaid with weathered advertisements ripped from neighborhood lampposts which creeped in much later. The project really did get more "punk," as our New School reviewer dubbed it. Loved that.

But the important thing to express is what a GIFT this project has been. Lola set a gift in motion that has remained in motion, and so retained its gift spirit. I received it as a gift and others have too. For that I say thanks- first to Lola and to you all.

Lynn Waskelis
from page 749-750, volume 2 of original text
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 121-1214

Friday, April 20, 2012

Collage 745

Here is the binding from the text, used on our last day in the studio. Chris Chou, a wonderful artist (and a former contributer), popped in to say hello to the group. I held up this piece and asked for her input.
"Keep working!" she replied.

There you go... - Adrienne

Adrienne Wetmore
from page 747-748, volume 2 of original text
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1211-1212

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Collage 744

Lucy Arrington
from page 745-746, volume 2 of original text
collage, ink
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Voloknonsky translation page 1209-1210

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Collage 743

Emma Rhodes
from page 743-744, volume 2 of original text
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1208-1209

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Collage 742

Otto Mayr
from page 741-742 of original text
collage, acrylic paint
made 2/3/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1206-1207

Monday, April 16, 2012

Collage 741


I live in a city destroyed by war just fourteen years before I was born. I can still find damage left by bullets and bombs fired during that final siege in 1945. My father grew up in Nazi Germany and can tell stories of seeing the huge fleets of Allied bombers flying high overhead to targets in other parts of Germany, or seeking shelter when that target was the Ruhr mining town where his family lived. His war was uneventful compared to that of my wife's father, who was 15 when he and his family fled their home in Danzig in March 1945. They were among the last German civilians to get out of the city before it was taken by the Soviet Army. 

Yet despite such direct and close links to the biggest war in history, the idea of war seems to me unreal and remote. I have had the great fortune of living in a period of relative peace. The Cold War posed a theoretical threat of complete annihilation but did not interfere with our prosperity and safety as long as no one pushed the button. Our wars -- Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan -- seem small compared to the Great Wars and hardly touch us. 

Tolstoy was born sixteen years after Borodino and the burning of Moscow. Like us, he lived in a period of relative peace, dying just a few years before the outbreak of World War One. The wars that Russia engaged in during his lifetime were regional affairs beyond the vast country's borders, far from home and not directly threatening to home and family. Living in peacetime makes it is easy to forget how common War has been to the human experience. -- Otto

Otto Mayr
from page 739-740, volume 2 of original text
made 2/1/12
Pevear/Volokhonsky translation page 1205-1206