The artists here all use photography to illustrate events or ideas that don't exist, or exist for long, and draw attention to unusual details of life. Their use of the camera elevates small, unusual or fleeting moments and offer them up for our more thorough investigation.
This and all other texts in the exhibition are by Mariama Attah.
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Elena Subach explores fragility in the series Lamkist. The project shows materials, people, sculptures and fragments which are bound and twisted together. It's as though the camera has stumbled across a scene which has been abandoned halfway through some kind of ritual or exploration. The result is a set of precarious objects which have become permanent in being photographed.
The outdoor tableaux of natural elements in unnatural configurations and leftover details are also unsettling. While the scenes display objects which seem physically weak, Subach has created images that also possess an unsettling potential and power to disrupt and disturb.
Lviv — God's will
Viacheslav Poliakov walks us through the look and feel of small Ukrainian towns. The landscape and terrain are shaped by the interventions and imaginations of people who have taken it upon themselves to prop up walls, fill holes in fences, and mend the broken parts of civic structures. The many hands and minds trying to lift the city out of disrepair lend to a swirling backdrop of disparate approaches and styles, creating an evolving, unpredictable experience.
Fragments of these objects, ideas, suggestions are photographed and then floated in space as Poliakov isolates them as singular objects in their own right. A lack of perspective and scale makes these discordant details loom large. Poliakov has captured small-scale, everyday examples of bricolage and initiative and presents a series of images which hover around us in this pastel world.
Licking War Wounds
Licking War Wounds is, at first glance, a simple durational performance piece captured by photography. The Dostilevs lick the tank-shaped salt lamp each day and create a record of impossibly slow change. Over the weeks, the tank loses its sharp edges and eventually, the small, wooden platform is all that is left to prove its existence.
The supposed health benefits of salt lamps coupled with a soft, inoffensive pink background gently sway viewers into thoughts of relaxation and peace. On closer examination, Licking War Wounds resolves into the shape of long-term invasion and how trauma is experienced and processed. The Dostlievs explain that there is an area in Eastern Ukraine known for its salt mines and that these lamps are a well-recognized element of the tourism industry. Normally these lamps take more innocuous shapes than the tank we are presented with here - a new addition in response to the Russian occupation since 2014.
In referencing persistent, though oftentimes invisible trauma, Licking War Wounds shows us the process of documenting disappearance and the burden of enacting this.
Fundamental Space Explorations of Naked Singularity
Sergey Melnitchenko uses photography, animation and drawing to breathe life into the question of who we are and how we inhabit the world around us. Fundamental Space Explorations of Naked Singularity builds a world of metaphor and imagination against the backdrop of fictional space exploration.
Melnitchenko has illustrated this journey of self-discovery through a set of images which relay the documentation of UFOs and other unexpected sightings.
In our quest to perceive ourselves as unique, we often look to the edges of the universe to understand our scale and contribution to the world. Melnitchenko has used a number of styles, colour palettes, and motivations that are both nostalgic and future reaching.