Since the end of March 2022, I’ve been working on an artistic study of the war of aggression unleashed against Ukraine by the Russian Federation. I take pictures of war crimes, destroyed civilian infrastructure facilities and the activities of various services with bodies of fallen warriors and victims among the civilian population on my medium format film camera. The focus of my work is a ‘soft’ critique of the ethical and aesthetic program of the ‘post-Holocaust’ times, which in response to Holocaust issue as the problem of Western civilization comprehended it in terms of a cultural gap, the inconceivable event, the inexpressibility of trauma, the impossible bearing witness to the ultimate experience of war and genocide, and declared the inadmissibility of a repetition of this episode in human history. The aesthetic correlate of that relationship to the experience of victims of mass destruction were the modernist experiments with form – museums of genocide were built in accordance with the modernist canon, designed to embody an unrepresentability of trauma, silence and blackness. Fascinated by the negativity promising an unprecedented understanding of the human condition, the western world is unable to discern and recognize the threat of a crushing, total Nothing that the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the heiress of which is modern Russia, brings to the world. The values that are valid under the protection of the liberal order do not withstand the confrontation with the Chekist machine, which has no moral boundaries for murder and cruelty, and which teaches the world ‘practical lessons’ of boundless nihilism. The ruins of war, which literally embody the quest for a non-objective world and the victims bodies, reporting the terrible expressibility of their experience, teach their ‘practical lessons’ the aesthetic ideals of modernism. And history, which returned to the stage after its announced death, repeats itself.
Yana Kononova is an artist with an academic background in philosophy (PhD). She was born in the Caspian Sea on the Pirallakhi island, which is the place of oil extracted, where in ancient times Zoroastrians worshipped a fire. During the First Nagorno-Karabakh War, her family emigrated to Ukraine. After relocating to live in the countryside in the Trachtemiriv peninsula, which also has a strong geological and cultural history, she turned to photography. Yana graduated from the Photoschool of Viktor Marushchenko and then studied the photography course during the long term programme from Image Threads Collective (USA). She won the Bird in Flight Prize in Emerging photographer nomination in 2019.
便利堂賞 – ヤナ・コノノヴァ
– 株式会社便利堂 代表取締役 鈴木 巧
哲学の博士号を取得しているアーティスト。カスピ海にある、古代にはオイルが抽出され、ゾロアスター教徒によって火の崇拝が実践されていたピララキ島に生まれる。第一次ナゴルノ・カラバフ戦争の最中、彼女の家族はウクライナに移住。地質学的にも文化的にも強い歴史を持つトラクテミリフ半島の田園地帯に移住した後、写真に転向。コノノヴァはヴィクトル・マルシェンコの写真学校を卒業後、アメリカのImage Threads Collectiveの長期講座で写真を学ぶ。2019年に「Bird in Flight」でUkrcontemp photoのDiscovery of the year賞を受賞している。