Valentyn lives in Vilnius, Lithuania but was born in Ukraine. He and his family escaped via political asylum when he was younger. The Notice Board see’s this escape as the fuel at the core of his work. Work which pays homage to the people who tried to, didn’t, haven’t or can’t set themselves free. Particularly at this time of war as the population defends itself against Russia.
This show featuring 3 examples from larger bodies of work: Painted over prison window, Surveillance and PW44. These deeply profound, political and perceptive photographs show us the shadows of atrocities and haunted sites. Shadows that reveal a strange beauty that lures us in and then evokes imaginings. Yet it’s a beauty that doesn’t save us and nor should it. Rather we are confronted with a truth. A truth that many of us may be unable to bear or believe yet did and does still exist.
Valentyn says of the work being shown Surveillance feature the walking yards and prison cell door spyholes in former political prisons in Eastern Europe (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Poland, Germany). Previously, to keep people under control, they were isolated in special places and/or were under different methods of surveillance. Nowadays surveillance is taking new (digital) forms, but the main essence remains. Total physical and mind control of society. In PW44 – plastered bullet holes the photographs were made in Warsaw, Poland. They show walls of plastered over bullet holes – traces of events that occurred during the Warsaw Uprising from August 1st – October 2nd in 1944 against Nazi German occupation. The plaster repair does not however remove the scars or disappear the oppression. In Painted Over Prison Window. We see a former Gestapo and Later KGB Prison window in Vilnius, Lithuania, smeared over. This window is of a prison cell in the former Gestapo and later secret KGB prison in Vilnius, Lithuania. This window faces onto a main street.
Valentyn uses photography to research historical or social events. Events linked to political and violent situations or doctrines. He explores the relation between what we see and what we perceive as we come to understand what’s represented. The photographs show traces that emphasise the borders of human perception but also where the consequences of human action meet reason.