Your cart is empty

Shop now

Autobiography Without Facts

Artist Blog by Masha Svyatogor

I wrote this text on April 15, 2022. It was another attempt to write a text for this work. I assume that many artists who find it difficult to write texts for their projects will understand me. It was also an attempt to comprehend the events that in many ways crossed out the life that was before 2022.

When it seems to me that I can't write a single line explaining my work, then I try, at least, to write a personal text, and the principle of my writing becomes sincerity and frankness.

So, the text:

“Today is the 40th day since the death of my grandfather. But I always called him ‘Dzied’ (‘grandpa’ in the Belarusian language), and he didn’t mind. I was not a very courteous and amiable granddaughter. But my grandfather accepted and didn't take offense. He has always been an essential part of my life, and it seemed like it would be forever. Constancy, which seemed immutable.

My grandfather was the only living witness of the Second World War among my family members. First, his father, an ordinary Belarusian man, who grazed cows in the village, was accused as a ‘Polish spy’ and executed by the Soviet authorities in 1938.

Two older brothers died, and the sister was burned by the Nazis. The mother, who was driven away to Germany during the war, was seriously ill after returning home and did not live long.

The grandfather survived along with his other brother and, in general, they lived a fairly long life, which was rather hard than happy. There were too many tragedies and traumas. I always underestimated these facts of his biography, they seemed to me too vague and distant, unreal and unimaginable, like myths and legends.

My grandfather’s death almost coincided with the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine. I can't imagine how he would take the current reality. Perhaps he was lucky, as he had dementia.

Along with the loss, I realized that the former life ended forever and inevitably. The ‘old world’ somewhere still continues to exist like a zombie or a vampire. But it’s doomed to fall.

It is obvious that everything will be rebuilt and formed anew. Living through these irreversible transformations and changes is certainly a traumatic and painful experience. It will be an inevitable, long process.

While working on this project, I was thinking about the lost, disappearing connections between people, how little I know about those who surround me, how insufficient this knowledge is. This is completely fragmentary information.

More and more connections are being lost, more and more people have been dispersing around the world, everything seems to be slipping away, and you don’t have time to catch it.

Time is never enough. To learn, to study thoroughly, to remember and save.

I was also thinking about the feeling that had often haunted me throughout my life - about being lost and restless, about finding my place, about the sensation that you’re drifting somewhere, never reaching the final goal, as if you’re stuck in a transit zone between the old world and something completely new, unknown and inexplicable.

This work is about the fragility of time, the unreliability of memory, about how our memories are erased, leaving blurred spots, flash and disappear, turning into vague, ghostly and elusive images.”

The project Autobiography Without Facts was shown in the form of a multimedia installation at the group exhibition When The Sun Is Low - The Shadows Are Long, curated by Anna Karpenko, at the Arsenal Gallery in Białystok, Poland, and the Gallery of Contemporary Art (GfZK) in Leipzig, Germany in 2022. Recently, Anna Karpenko released a book under the same titlebased on the group exhibition.

Supported by our main online partner