POST VITAM | Veniaminova Oksana

“Post vitam” (lat. after life) is a photographic series consisting of stills which were constructed and then shot by me. Part of the objects are our family relics and remembrances, others just resemble artefacts from the past: grandma's brooch, grandpa's comb, sister's cut hair, tableware. By using these things, I endlessly turn to family stories, secrets, traumas, lines, everyday life and fateful events. Replication of prior experience is a main feature of memory. This creates life scenarios which are played out unconsciously. Recurrent objects and plots in the photos are a metaphor for these family patterns which are passed down over generations and are totally elusive without careful consideration. Constructing stills is my way to reveal things that had no place in the family system: they were silenced, concealed and tabooed. Grief, mourning, insanity, illness, violence, lies and shame were displaced into the unconscious, but didn’t disappear. Instead they created shadows and lacunas, which now can only be recognized, visualized and given a place. Producing repetitive images turns into affection and obsession, but heals in the end. Creating the stills is simultaneously the ritual of remembrance and release. The objects in the photos are recognizable and uniform for almost everyone in the post-soviet area. Thus, the series reflects not only my personal but also the universal experience of people united by the common past and the collective traumas it caused.