© Elinor Sahm

The Boob, The Samovar and the Guilty Artist

When I started this Blog at the beginning of Polenovo residency, I was in a mode of researching, learning, reading and consuming any piece of information and sight coming my way.

This Consuming mode fooled me into believing I could write a continuous blog during these three months. a kind of- I am an almighty artist who's capable of any making that passes through my inspired mind!

Many times this mode resulted in a catastrophic catatonic breakdown. (This line was for you- Tali Kayam).

And here we are again.

When consuming I'm very much able to write, as many textual thoughts are flowing through my keyboard. But, as soon as I begin working on the visual part of the piece- that's it. It's output time. NO room for text. No room for reading/writing. ONLY working. Visuals, Materials, Physicals.



What I tried to say in this long prologue was that I didn't post for a long time and I do feel bad about it. But with a good and unavoidable excuse. =)


While not writing my blog, I've been planning a huge post about the Russian Samovar and it's important play in the Russian culture heritage.

Here's a bit of it:


Gzhel Ceramic Samovar


Some time ago I went to Tula city to visit the weapon museum (A Fascist catastrophic mistake!) that resembles a boob, a nipple or a helmet. (Tula is the greatest weapon and metal factory city in Russia)


Tula 'Coat of Arms'

Boob weapon museum of Tula

And by accident, on the way, my friends for the trip and I ran into the Somovar museum! it was a marvelous accident indeed. Samovar museum photo gallery:




Since I got here (Russiaaaaa) I've been noticing that there is a Samovar present in EVERY place I've visited. In EVERY movie I watched that is connected to Russian culture, no matter if Hollywood or BBC or Russian, there will always be a Samovar in the background.

So, as I love doing, I documented.

The result is right here:


Samovars found at: Natalia Polenova's house, Chekhov's house, Bolotov dacha, a supermarket.



'Anna Karenina', 2012


'The Last Station', 2009

'Gorky Park', 1983

'Under The Sun', 1998


  • While visiting the Caucas, Pushkin suggested to import the Samovar so the Caucasian "Barbaric" people will be more civilized.

  • Russia claims that the Samovar was invented in Tula city.

  • Neither Tea nor Samovar are Russian inventions.

  • Tea was epitomized by the Samovar and was made a national Russian drink along Vodka and Kvas. It was during the 19th century, in order to create a national identity.

  • A friend from 'Tipografia' bar in Tula told me that he knows a tea salon that intends to go back to a time before soviet era through tea.

  • Tolstoy, Chekhov, Dostoevsky and Pushkin, had integrated the Samovar into their writing and made it into an integral part of Russian life and culture.


Through this post I realized that my Bucharian grandfather might had grown up with a samovar at his parents home in Jerusalem.

I called him and asked about it. He was thrilled to tell me about the beautiful crafted copper samovar his parents owned and how important it was in the family life in old Jerusalem.


It seems to have served as something of a social equalizer.


Samovar is a code for conversation, family, comfort, home, childhood, important events, gathering of friends and warmth.


So, apparently I am able to write even while i work on the visual part.... hmmm.

Oh well.

It was still a nice excuse for myself and a good lesson about self declarations.


Final project is getting close to finalizing.

Hold tight.

Preview at Bolotov Dacha on June 21st.

Full installation at Polenovo on June 29th.

See you at the aftermath.


(Hi Shera.

Yes, I know you are the only one paying attention.

If you are shera, write 'OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE IT' in the FB comment.

If you are NOT Shera, write 'I AM NOT SHERA')

I love this game