Pavel Romaniko: A Guide to Collective Melancholy

Sep 05, 2017 - Feb 23, 2018

Criminal Justice Gallery at the Rutgers Center for Law & Justice
123 Washington Street 5th Floor, Newark NJ 07102

Join us on November 2nd from 3 to 5 p.m. for a reception and artist talk. Reception will begin at 3 p.m. in Room 571, followed by an artist talk at 4 p.m. in Room 025. RSVP on Facebook.

 

Pavel Romaniko, “Untitled (Accident)”, 2016, digital chromogenic print, 16”x20”, courtesy of the artist

Pavel Romaniko, “Untitled (Accident)”, 2016, digital chromogenic print, 16”x20”, courtesy of the artist

“My work has long dealt with change, and specifically with the opposites of that concept. On the one hand, the world and society have sped up and the rate at which everything is changing has become immeasurable. On the other hand, some societies have resisted that change—constructing bubbles and keeping them afloat. Post-Soviet Russia is one of those places.

“For many years, I had travelled between the United States and Russia to look for and photograph signs of change; I eventually stopped bringing a camera. I realized that I was reliving and producing the same images over and over again. I felt as though I were making copies, therefore I chose to take a different approach to constructing copies. I bought paper and scissors, a knife and glue, and I started remaking the content of my images into small paper sets later to be photographed.

“Just like Russia itself, my act of making these images anew has become metaphoric of the country’s problematic relationship with its own past. At the moment of remembering something, the Russian people seem to forget that very same thing that they had just tried to recall. And this process repeats. The same image is re-made over and over again. In psychology such behavior is often attributed to people that have lived through traumatic events. This in itself often blocks experiences from converting into memories, and instead leads to forgetting.”