Memory Practices

”Zoya Laktionova is an artist working with photography and video art around the concepts of memory, war and personal stories. During her Artists for Artists Residency (AFAR) in Bucharest she continued her exploration of local history, which transforms the ephemeral into the eternal, capturing fleeting moments that resonate deeply with viewers.”

Zoya Laktionova

March 16 – April 16, 2024

26 Popa Soare Street, Bucharest

”The artist’s practice is influenced by her experiences of constant migration through various artist residencies, a journey catalyzed by the war in Ukraine. In her photographs and documentaries, she adeptly navigates the complexity of history and identity, drawing attention to the nuanced intersections of personal and collective narratives. Her exploration of memory and displacement serves as an poignant reflection of the contemporary human condition. The artist emphasizes the key elements of transformation, highlighting how history is imprinted on the walls of public buildings and monuments in the major cities of Central and Eastern Europe, as an everlasting imprint of the ever-evolving past.”

”The exhibition Memory Practices unveils a captivating series of photographs from Zoya’s ongoing projects, providing spectators with a window into her profound exploration of public history and propaganda. The latest photographs captured in Bucharest and Constanta during the residency act as a gateway to the complex layers of remembrance and forgetfulness that shape our shared consciousness.”

”The visuals alternate between moments of personal and collective history and empty spaces captured either on the gallery walls or in the artist’s photographs and documentaries, which reference the erasing and rewriting of history.”

Zenit, Ilford, 40 x 27 cm, 2024
Negatives with a digital camera by Zoya Laktionova, 26 x 17.3 cm, 2024

”Zoya reenacts her family archives in a local setting, illustrated by the Unheritage series, which features photographs recovered before the outbreak of war. The artist uses damage as symbols representing memory and forgetting, making them central themes in her negatives.

Among her ongoing explorations, the artist’s documentary, Ashes Settling in Layers on the Surface, is a reconstruction of Mariupol on screen between two destructions – World War II and the Russian-Ukrainian war. The exhibition features shots from this documentary, which were found and used during the development of a feature documentary about Mariupol.”

Memory Practices delves into the delicate nature of memory and its vulnerability to distortion.
Memory Practices delves into the delicate nature of memory and its vulnerability to distortion.
Diafilms found in a school destroyed by the Russian Army in the Donetsk region between 2014 and 2022, Negatives with a digital camera, 30 x 20 cm, 2024
Film photos, Pentax espio 928, Ilford, 40 x 26.5 cm, 2024.

You can download the curatorial text below.