The Last Peaceful Day, 2021
Installation view, Winzavod, Moscow, Russia
Ready made objects, photography
The Last Peaceful Day project examines a history-making process during one of the historical reenactments of the 21 of June, 1941 — the last peaceful day before the German invasion of the Soviet Union during the Second World War and the defense of the Brest Fortress on the border between Belarus and Poland. The reenactment takes place every year in Brest, Belarus on this day.
The installation mimics a hall of fame representing contradicting but convergent historical narratives. The memorial is created from the vintage Soviet boxes and their photography typology provoking interest in the viewer to investigate the context. In the past people kept their personal belongings, letters, photographs in those decorated wooden boxes. Millions of archival images and documents have been lost over the years to natural disasters, wars and conflicts. A series of the images of empty boxes is a visual representation of public memory and its loses replaced by imaginary facts, ideology and concepts. The real boxes are filled with the photographs made by the artist during a single day and preserved as a new archive, containing references to the other unarticulated stories from today – pictures of the usual city life, human-made landscapes, migrants, characters and scenes from the reenactment. The use of real objects and a typology in this project was to facilitate comparison. The artists draw parallels between collective and private memory, personal experience and various representations of the past.