Condition of The

Emergent  Eastern

European States


by A. Piroženko





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"My interest in the topic of national identity came from having a personal connection to it. Being an immigrant, coming from Eastern Europe, experiencing a distance and longing not for my country, but for a recollection of it, made me aware of a strong memory link to my project. The question: “Which came first - tangerines, or Coca-Cola?”  is in a way, this is intended to illustrate the transformative process through which that newly independent post-Soviet states went through. Introducing unseen, colorful products, and an overwhelming sense of the well-being and freedom of a Western life-style.

Westernization became the new measure of legitimacy! At that time a Eurocentric child was born, who attempted to shake off the post-Soviet past. It was a time, when pro-western politicians proclaimed: “Let’s reunite with our real home – EUROPE!” With too much focus on the bright future in Europe, an authentic present was postponed for the better times…"

In 2015, Lithuania – one of the former Soviet states, celebrated 25 years of independence. Usually at this time of the year, patriotic articles would appear in the mass media, which revered the glorious past and unique heritage of the nation and simultaneously threatened the loss of national identity. While these articles speculate about such grandiose notions as national identity and national consciousness, they never invite the reader to think of which things we can call specific, authentic, or, our own.


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My research raises the problem of the lack of identity in the post-Soviet context. As a starting point, I take the discourse of compensatory behavior and the almost blind Westernization of the former Soviet states. I introduce the aesthetics of mimicry as a possible coping mechanism in the search for authenticity. Where the aesthetics of mimicry is not just a copy or simulacrum of an entity applied without further development, but rather, a means for creating a distinct identity. In order to be effective, such mimicry must continually and consciously deviate from the original, in order to develop its own authenticity



 banality /bəˈnæləti/  noun

 1:    something that is boring or ordinary

Banalities stand as a part of a visual, atmospheric research. For the past three years I have been capturing banalities I was confronted to in my daily life. Most of the images indicate objects, interiors and architecture.