When We Were Shadows

Multimedia installation, 2024

For me, historical photos are not just about history; they are about people. People like you and me. Hence, even if you don’t recognize the specific revolution or war depicted in a photograph, there’s always a chance to resonate with the emotions captured on film. Empires, ideologies, convictions, and prohibitions emerge and fade away. But emotions endure. They serve as the bridge that allows us to realize how little separates us from those whose names vanished decades ago, yet who continue to smile or weep from black-and-white frames. We live in times of war. Therefore, perhaps more than anyone else, we’re capable of empathizing with the figures in these photographs, who are mere shadows of the past to the peaceful world. We ourselves take countless photos every day. And many of them are historical too, for those who will live tomorrow, we have long become shadows of the past.

In the “When We Were Shadows” historical photos are transformed into silhouettes, preserving only the emotions. For it is these emotions that make us human. Visitors can become part of the installation, complementing the works with their own shadows, creating unique images with every moment. This is offered as a symbolic recognition of our own presence in the global historical process.

Artistic project was created in collaboration with @avangard.ukraine, as part of the team effort “Culture in the Rear” in the Gunpowder Tower, Lviv, Ukraine in February 9-11 2024.  The project’s opening was featured a musical-shadow performance by the band NAZVA, as well as a charitable sale of original merchandise.