Conceptual - NOMINEE: VALENTYN ODNOVIUN
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I would like to work on ongoing project called “Surveillance” which consist of the photographs (final photographe resized to 60x73 cm) of the walking yards and prison cell door spyholes in former Soviet KGB prisons in Ukraine, Baltic States, prisons and concentration camps for political prisoners in Eastern Bloc.
The main task of the State Security agencies was spying on the population through a vast network of informants. These prison cells became a places for political prisoners and objectionable “unwanted” people. The same places in the Baltic states and Ukraine were used for similar purposes by the Nazi Gestapo, when these countries were under German occupation during WWII. Most of them existed until Soviet Union collapse.
Work was already developed in former KGB prisons in Vilnius, Lithuania, Cesis and Riga, Latvia, Lviv, Ukraine and Stasi “Hochenschonhausen” prison in East Berlin, Germany.
Photographs I am creating for this project are both documentary and subjective at the same time. They embody real traces of events, objects and memories, but they also serve as platforms for imagining these events, objects and memories in more interpretative and conceptual form.
Spyhole stand for a metaphor of obscuring freedom of people on both sides of spyhole lens, transforming their roles for the needs of an oppressive system.
As next step I want to visit Patarei Prison in Tallinn, Estonia; SB (Polish analog of KGB) headquarters at Strzelecka str. 8 in Warsaw, Poland and to start to make research on StB (Secret State Police of former Czechoslovakia) in Prague, Czech Republic and Bratislava, Slovakia.
I considering how “objectless”/abstract images, even when they are not yet recognized, trigger interpretations from our imagination, presenting to us something that is not depicted on them. If we develop the idea that an image of patterns on a wall or scratches on spyhole may have influence on a person, including when its historic or contextual significance is taken into account, then we can consider that any image can be considered as “documentary evidence” and as a link in a process of perception.
I would be very glad to get support for the further developing of the project to visit these places and document them.
Valentyn Odnoviun was born in Ukraine. For the last years has lived in Vilnius, Lithuania.
In 2014 got a scholarship for studies in Lithuania from Education exchange support foundation. In 2015 he was selected to study in Lodz Art Academy in Erasmus program.
Graduated form Vilnius Art Academy (Master of Phototgraphy).
In 2016 took first place at the photo contest "Debiutas 2016" held by the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers.
2017 nominated for "Walter Koschatzky Art Award", Vienna, Austria. Finalist of Grand Prix Interphoto 2017, Bialystok, Poland.
Personal exhibitions (latest)
2017 – “Surveillance,” The gallery of the Union of Lithuanian Art Photographers, Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – “Traces of Memory,” Art gallery “Akademija,” Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – “Traces of Memory,” Academy of Arts, Lodz, Poland
2017 - “Auckland Festival of Photography,” project “Traces of Memory,” New Zealand
2017 – “Walter Koschatzky Art Award 2017,” project “Surveillance.” Exhibition of the finalists at the „HOFSTALLUNGEN“ of the Museum of Modern Art Vienna, Austria
2017 – “Kaunas Gallery Weekend 2017,” project “Traces of Memory,” Kaunas, Lithuania
2016 – “Debiutas 2016,” with projects “Surveillance” and “Warsaw 1944,” Art photography gallery “Prospekto,” Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – “Meno Celės,” project “Investigation,” Art gallery “Titanikas,” Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – “On-Time,” exhibition of contemporary young artists, Parliament of Ukraine, Kyiv, Ukraine
2016 – “In the Same Boat,” with the project “Investigation,” Academy of Arts, Lodz, Poland
Awards and Grants
2017 – Finalist of “Interphoto Grand Prix 2017”, Bialystok, Poland
2017 – Nomination - “Walter Koschatzky Art Award 2017,” Vienna, Austria
2016 – 1st place at “Debiutas 2016” award for Emerging Art Photographers, Vilnius, Lithuania
2016 – Shortlisted for “Baltic Young Artist Award 2016,” Riga, Latvia