Far from You
memorials to Lida Clementisova
mixed media, dimensions variable

Lida Clementisova, Czech opera singer, was the wife of Vladimir Clementis, a Slovak politician and a prominent member of Czechoslovak Communist Party, victime of stalinist "purges" in the 50-ties. She and her husband were both imprisoned for 2 years and tortured before Vladimir's execution. Although her husband was rehabilitated politically and culturally in the 60-ties, Lida Clementisova has never get into collective memory/history. She is forgotten and her name is sometimes marginally mentioned in connection with Vladimir Clementis.
In 1968 Lida published her 2 years correspondence with her husband in a book entitled "Listy z vazenia" (Letters from the prison).
The last letters of Lida and Vlado Clementis:
Lida my one and only and Vlado, my dear!

Far from you is a series of memorials for Lida and the great love she carried for her husband. The memorials are conceived as instructions, processes and ephemeral monuments.

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #3
2010 is an article with Lida's life story, created on, an open source internet encyclopedia. It is the first autonomous record of Lida Clementisova in a public library. Until now she has been mentioned only marginally within the biographies of her husband.

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #50
introduction to overgrowing monuments

(freely distributed Clematis plants with instructions)

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #50 is formulated as an appeal for planting creeping plants (Clematis Hybride) around monuments of all kinds. Eventually, the plants will grow all over the monuments, covering them with flowers and making them temporary invisible. Any actual sculpture can thus become memorial to Lida Clementisova for a while.

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #50
(installation, slide projection) 2010

Looped projection of 180 images made of slides of Clematis plants with flowers overlapped with slides of various existing monuments in Prague.

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #16
make-up scheme as Lida Clementisova in emigration
(multiplied and freely distributed make-up scheme, digital print, endless copies)

Make-up scheme designed after an existing photo-portrait of Lida in emigration. By following the instructions on the scheme, anyone can become a temporary living bust resembling and memorializing Lida Clementisova.

Memorial to Lida Clementisova #1133 ("Lida My One and Only")
(multiplied and freely distributed sheet music, xerox, endless copies)

The musical score resulted from the last letter Vlado Clementis wrote to his wife Lida, translated into Solresol. Solresol is an artificial language devised by Francois Sudre in the 19th century. In Solresol, words can be represented in a number of different ways - as musical notes of different pitch, as spoken syllables (do re mi fa sol la si do), with colours, symbols or hand gestures. "Lida My One and Only" has no given rhythm nor stroke, and can thus be performed in any way, according to the decision of the performer.

Monument to Lida Clementisova #10
(video with sound, 1' 14'')


The video presents a group of pupils reciting by heart the last letter Vlado Clementis wrote to his wife Lida, just shortly before his execution. Each of the pupils memorized a different fragment of the letter. They recite their parts all together, simultaneously.
The video is performed by students of Evangelical grammar school in Banska Bystrica.

Monument to Lida Clementisova #32
(grass imprint ratio 1:1, 245 x 395 cm, Chateau Trebesice, Czech rep.)


Temporary mark imprinted in grass by a matrix of Lida's prison cell in Ruzyne prison, in which she spent 22 months of imprisonment. The matrix copies the floorplan of the original single cell. It can be moved and impressed anywhere in grass. During 10-15 days the matrix is impressed and the mark of it is visible. When removed the grass starts regenerating and the imprint disappears gradually.

Far from You (analepsis)

(archive materials - photos, texts excerpts, documentary video excerpt-, glass) 2009 The archive materials are collected from publications, books and documents on Vlado Clementis. All references to Lida are cut out and subsequently compounded as her story.