“Lenin lives! Lenin is with you!” Since the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, this hymn has been more than an ever-present slogan. Throughout the 20th century, the figure of the revolutionary leader was omnipresent. But as Russia prepares to celebrate the centennial of the October Revolution, Ukraine, the other pillar of the Soviet Empire, will have none of him. Summum of decommunization: as of late 2016, none of the 5,500 statues that formerly dotted the territory is still standing.
According to ancient legends, vampires appeared on the Earth at the same time as the first people. They changed, mutating and imitating. If we interpret vampirism wider than a myth about aristocratic bloodsuckers, we may assume that each of us carries an element which, unrevealed up to a certain time, is able to turn any human into a savage monster.
This story is about those of us with whom life just happens. It takes place when the connection between cause and consequence is no longer coherent. I am documenting a naïve visual subculture of a public space, which has become widely spread throughout Ukraine after a fall of the Soviet Union faced globalization.
Four months in Kyrgyzstan, portraying this country on the outskirts of global headlines with a large format camera, through faces and landscapes. This work highlights the generational disparities between those nostalgic of an abolished USSR order and modern westernized youths born after the fall.
In this series I have concerned myself with the way that history and memory are perceived through images.
I explore a way of creating content around the photos through their physical presence as objects, connecting them with natural elements, thus highlighting their temporality. These flowers and petals mark the present, but at the same time they are a very powerful vanitas symbol. Black-and-white photographs ‘mean’ a different era; they are a visual analogy of the idea of memory slipping away with time. The concept of this work is fragility and disappearance.
When we are young, we want to be adventurous, we want to explore the world, see new places, try to live differently for once and be far from our home.
Caves are prevalent images in the world of myths, legends and cults. Early humans used to live in caves before they start to developed their living spaces. The cave symbolise humans archetype of housing. In the series caves & spaceships I search for intersections between nature and the primal and new architecture of post-soviet time and Saakashvili era in Georgia and compare the contrast between ancient natural surface and future-oriented forms which stays as a symbol for progression, longings for the future and the European accession.
My mother was born in the beginning of World War II in a small village. By this time her father was already in war, from where he didn’t return. She was ten years old when her mother died. She was hit by a train. I remember her saying once: “I was at school, in the middle of the lesson, one of my classmates opened the classroom door and yelled: Keto, your mother is dead”. Since then she was raised by her brothers and their wives. I don’t know much about her childhood, because she didn’t like to speak about it. I only have fragments, those I’ve gathered through the years, randomly said by her or her relatives.
There is an old legend the Abkhaz people like to tell to the visitors: When God gave each nation its place under the sun, the Abkhaz was too busy taking care of his guests so he came late and there was no land left for him. But God remembered the great hospitality of the Abkhaz so he gifted him the only place left where God himself wanted to live – the small region on the shores of the Black Sea.
My mother always told me stories about this magical place called Samtskhe Javakheti. She always said that the beauty of the land is like a mystical fairytale. Telling me about her first impression there, when her father took her when she was a child. Back then the entrance of Samtskhe-Javakheti was taken by the soviet army , so you had to have a certain pass to enter and because of the terrible road conditions that existed years ago, it took nine hours to drive, despite the fact, that the region was just 200 km away from the capital. Later it was her good friend Apostle Nicholas, she introduced me too. For me he was the reason the region still had Georgian identity. His life work of trying to built a good relationship between the two ethnic groups through religion and education, restoring and building churches and schools.