top of page


Collage using self-produced and found photographs, A4 paper

These are collages based on photographs of the archway on Khreshchatyk - the central street in Kyiv, Ukraine. In the early 50s this street was rebuilt in an opulent and triumphant Stalinist Baroque style.

The images have an oneiric quality to them, as if they were spaces seen in dreams - altered, eerie, both familiar and unfamiliar, anonymous, illogical and bewildering. Some alterations are more explicit and bold and some are subtle and barely noticeable. As a collage method I deconstruct and reconstruct this space, by merging and manipulating its elements.


Although I de-ideologize, de-historicize and de-personalize these spaces, they have a potency to speak about history and politics. I’m playing around with the photographs of the same building from multiple angles, yet it could be, as in a dream, a hybrid consisting of different images of totalitarian architecture of the same period, though from other countries, like Square Coliseum in Rome, Italy – an example of Rationalism, a predominant style under Benito Mussolini’s regime. With its frequent use of arches it employs ancient Roman architecture as a standard.

With time, this architecture is losing it’s ideological subtext, it no longer belongs to the specific time, but gains a new history, as Khreshchatyk since the early 90s and even more so in 2000s and 2010s begun to be associated with anti- Soviet protests and those against corruption and authoritarian tendencies. For me personally, this place, aside from being an epicenter of political and social life, is where I grew up and witnessed the Orange Revolution (2003-4) and the Revolution of Dignity (2013-14).


I’ve been finding common rhythms in the photos of sportspeople from archival photographs from 1920-30s USSR, and the post-war Stalinist Baroque architecture on Khreshchatyk street, Kyiv. Make them fit or mimicrate into the architectural environment. Ideologized bodies in the ideologized urban space. In architecture, most of totalitarian states were referencing classical antiquity, but also it could be applied to the cult of the body in both ancient Greece and Rome. Bodies from these photographs are standardized, selected and uniformed. Façade of a building is what those outside see first, same as fit bodies were creating this positive image, ‘façade’ for the international community. Perhaps, this image is way too illustrative, so I’ve decided in the next series to work solely with architectural forms and the absence of humans.

As part of my research, I looked at Gordon Matta-Clarke’s interventions and ‘physical collaging’ real buildings, as well as photo collages, where he was faking a continuity by combining parts or the same or different buildings. Another point of reference was Maurice Escher’s bewildering and oneiric buildings and staircases.

bottom of page