Valentyn Odnoviun | Surveillance

Prison Cell Door Spyhole. KGB Prison, Cesis, Latvia © Valentyn Odnoviun.
Prison Cell Door Spyhole. KGB Prison, Cesis, Latvia © Valentyn Odnoviun.

Location: Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata dei Servi, Piazza dei Servi 12
Orari: lunedì – venerdì 15:00 – 19:30 / sabato e domenica 10 am – 7:30 pm


The winner of the Photolux Award 2019 is Valentyn Odnoviun with ‘Survelliance’
Nominator: Lydia Dorner, curator: Musée de l’Elysée.

Valentyn Odnoviun’s photographs, very poetic, almost lunar at first glance, reveal a completely different truth: they are close-up views of prison cells’ peepholes. Located mostly in the Baltic States, Poland, Ukraine and Germany, they have all served, at one time or another, as places of repression for the KGB and the Stasi. For nearly two years, Odnoviun has visited these sites of memory to gather a corpus composed, as of today, of around forty images. By abandoning a documentary lingo to tell, on the contrary, History through photographs of  neat aestheticism, the artist triggers a visual experience for the spectator that is close to meditation. Silent, these images speak both of the isolation of incarceration and the metaphysical escape of men deprived of their freedom. These places of repression, under his lens which retains just the threshold between the outside and the inside, become planets with an impalpable surface, oscillating between transparency, translucency and opacity to express all the complexity of the Soviet bloc’s political surveillance in its darkest hours.

On shown also the two projects the 2019 jury decided to award with the Honorable Mentions:

Mohamed Keita La Renaissance’
Nominator: Cristiana Petrella e Elena Magini, Centro Pecci, Prato

 Going back means retracing the path that, at the age of 14, made me leave the country where I lived, the Ivory Coast, because of the civil war that caused the loss of a large part of my family and the places where we lived. In Rome I started as a self-taught person to observe people and places through a camera that I have never left since that day. I photograph every day, without looking for the exceptionality in reality, impressing it bulimically in every instant that hits my attention, with a watchful eye on the gestures, the lights, the looks.

Drew Nikonowicz (USA, 1993)This World and Others Like It’
Nominator: Hinde Haese, FOAM, Amsterdam

 For Drew Nikonowicz, our lives online and offline have become inseparable. To him, the world we experience via our screen is as real as the physical reality that surrounds us. In This World and Others Like It, 2012 – 2017, his elaborate landscapes consist of digital images – distilled from Youtube or games such as Minecraft – and analogue photographs taken with a 4×5 view finder. A digital native, the artist does not discriminate between ‘straight’ photography and digitally constructed images, but incorporates both as equally valid embodiments of an experienced reality.

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