Military Commissariat


In 2014, after the Revolution of Dignity, national roadblocks began to appear in Ukraine. Trying to prevent provocations from the “aunts”, activists built fortifications from tires and bags, then self-organized into duty units. This phenomenon has become a symbol of not only the permanent anxiety in which the country found itself after the revolution, but also its readiness to defend what it found. Then the first part of the series of photographs “Military Commissariat” was created.
Then the anti-terrorist operation in the Donbass began and the second part of the series with the twins became a logical continuation. If before the draft in the army was a reason for jokes and kickbacks, now it has become literally an invitation to war. Young men, formatted by military regulations, become really like twins – the army erases individual differences, replacing them with chevrons.
This is a cursory story of ordinary guys, of whom there are millions in Ukraine. They live in sleeping areas, are friends in groups, fight in courtyards. In portraits made against the background of the lyrical landscapes of the outskirts of Mykolaiv, a special romanticism of courtyard life is created. Combining the two parts of the series, the overall picture becomes like a children’s game of war when building fortresses and barricades. The badges and icons that frame the work, also part of the ritual games, give painful reality a special symbolic meaning.
text by Tatyana Lysun, art critic