Dual slide-projection, 24 images, acrylic glass vitrine
In 1929, Maxim Gorki was commissioned by the Soviet secret service to write an article on one of the first forced labor camps in the Soviet Union, portraying its function in a positive light. During his two-day visit he saw staged scenes of labor, prisoners enjoying leisure time and undergoing re-education. These performances were orchestrated by the administration of the camp to make a positive impression on the famous guest.
SLON is a dual-slide projection that gives a surreal perspective of the staging of forced labor, whereby prisoners become actors of the propaganda machine.

Pact of Silence

22 photographs, C-print, 7-channel sound installation
At the center of the work is a photographic album from the Soviet labor camp (1923 – 1937) on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea.
The showing and telling of the album is a perfor-mance, and viewing the album in the company of others could be considered a shared spectatorial experience. What happens with the album when the compiler is gone and the story is lost?
Conceiving the album as an act of communication means reconstructing the story to fill the gaps by re-awakening the actors.
Sound, like the photographic moment, is transient; it situates one in the midst of events. Vision, by contrast, situates one in front of things.
22 re-photographed traces of photographs that had been torn out of the album are shown alongside a multi-channel sound installation that re-tells the story of the album as a museum object.

Line of Site
12 photo etchings

Sometimes images tell more about what is outside than inside the frame. No matter how intensely one studies a peaceful landscape, something remains untold. If only one could look away.
The series of landscape photo-etchings is based on photographs taken by Russian and Ukrainian photo agencies that depict enemy artillery positions of the military forces involved in the conflict of the Donbass region in the Ukraine, which started in 2014. We will discover what can and what cannot be learned.

Beyond visual range

Beyond Visual Range / Außer Sichtweite
Eds. Katerina Chuchalina and Mikhail Tolmachev
With texts by Iwona Blazwick, Katerina Chuchalina, Martin Schmidl,
Matthew S. Witkovsky
Berlin/Leipzig: MMKoehn
Design: Beton

Natural Zones

4-channel silent video, 3D model, C-prints
A landscape is not a pre-existing thing in itself. Rather, it is made into a landscape, into a humanly meaningful space, by the living which takes place within it.
Natural Zones is an ongoing project which investigates the representative function of landscape as a space of confinement. It explores the Constru-ction Project 501–503, one of the most striking examples of the utopian projects of Stalin’s era: a 1,200 km-long railway in the Arctic zone of Western Siberia. It was never finished.
The construction was frozen and abandoned after Stalin’s death in 1953. These distant places were regarded as a prison without bars due to the inaccessibility of the territory and the severity of the climate. The surrounding landscape of the endless tundra bears within itself a constraining power. The horizon becomes not only the limit of the visible, beyond which space continues, but also an insurmountable boundary.