Gera Artemova

Ukraine (1973)
Biennale Images Vevey
Peaceful life

The year 2014 saw the Russian annexation of Crimea and the launch of a hybrid war in the eastern regions of Ukraine. The following year, Gera Artemova developed Peaceful life, reflecting different layers of the real situation: the apparent tranquillity of everyday life and the prevailing conflict in the foreground. The Ukrainian photographer depicts peaceful moments on the banks of Lake Telbin in Kyiv. There is a striking contrast between these seemingly ordinary, commonplace scenes and the perforated glass in their frames. Real bullet marks symbolise the sudden unforeseen intrusion of war into everyday life.

Despite the serenity of these pictures, the precarity of peace is all the more present as this series turned out to be a harbinger of the large-scale Russian invasion that set the country ablaze on 24 February 2022. In light of these events, this series can be read as a manifesto.