Fairy-tales are a constant ingredient of all cultures. They inform and describe a culture because, among other things, fairy-tales mirror social norms and solidify those norms by virtue of their distribution. This distribution is primarily by way of oral tradition. The Grimm Brothers have collected fairy-tales from various sources in order to consolidate them in writing. This is how Grimm’s fairy-tales have become a literary and cultural point of reference in Europe and in countries of European influence.

One thing connects the Grimm tales with those of other cultures and thus indicates the existence of universally felt norms. I mean those archetypical narrative and material elements, that often figure in dreams as well, which are used for personification of good and evil or for indicating a transformation, like the good or the bad fairy or the apple that takes on a catalytic function in a transformative process.

Like any good story, when it is told well, fairy-tales incite images of their narratives in our heads. They stimulate the imagination and are supposed to sharpen our judgment through their exemplar character. Katerina Belkina allowed herself to be inspired by the tales to create her interpretation of them. Her images, as far as their permanence is concerned, are to be situated between the written and the oral tradition. On one hand they obviously visualize the story, on the other they do not limit the viewer in his / her imagination. The images continue in one’s mind and one can thus become a Dream Walker. In a time when cultural identity is taken very seriously, it is important to find common ground and roots. This is what Belkina’s works allow and what makes them historically and in current discourse so highly relevant.

Dr. Till Richter, founder and director of the Till Richter Museum, Buggenhagen