Image above by Elena Subach
On 24 February 2022, the war in Ukraine escalated. People to the very last moment, and despite military forecasts and media whipping up tensions, refused to believe that this scenario could happen. February and March 2022 became a time of quick decisions, adaptation of towns, and mental adjustment to new forms of life. Events were unfolding fast and unpredictably. We all changed in the blink of an eye. It felt like time sped up, leaving no space for reflection. In that period, most Ukrainian photographers involuntarily became war reporters, and artists turned into documentalists.
Elena Subach, a Ukrainian artist, was working at Lviv National Art Gallery at the time of the escalation - a place where the cultural and historical heritage of the past few centuries is kept.In late February, Subach went to the Ukrainian-Slovak border to volunteer, and during this time captured images of people departing the country. Thousands of them crossed the border every day. The only thing that remained constant in that whirlwind of people and their pets were the chairs where people could stop and rest for a moment. The chairs were left behind on the borderline between the two countries for days, like reefs in the sea - only the objects on them changed, from blankets and warm clothes, to food and hot tea. These still lifes of the material world turned into a symbol of safety and stability. Building on her observations, Elena created Chairs, a typology series of twenty-five photographs...Read the full article in the printed issue. Get OVER Journal 3