The project “Surveillance” presented here, consist of the photographs of the walking yard and prison cell door spyholes in former KGB prisons Baltic States and Ukraine and STASI “Hohenschönhausen” remand prison in East Berlin, Germany.
KGB* prison cells became a places for political prisoners and objectionable “unwanted” people for their dissent and “anti-Soviet activities.”
The same places in the Baltic states and Ukraine were used for similar purposes by the Nazi Gestapo, when these countries were under German occupation during WWII.
The main task of STASI* was spying on the population through a vast network of informants, and fighting opposition, dissidents and “hostile elements.” Hohenschönhausen prison was divided into new a part with more than 200 new prison cells and interrogation rooms and an old part that was called U-Boot, also known as “Submarine,” and was situated in the basement with no windows.
All oppressive systems used the same methods which they developed with time based on common experience.
Photographs created as part of this project are both documentary and subjective at the same time. They embody real traces of events, objects and memories, but they also serve as platforms for imagining these events, objects and memories in more interpretative form. With an “abstract” photograph the viewer plays a bigger role in the reaction to, and thus the creation of the image.
Project conducted with the support of the RUCKA Artist Residency and Tokina (Polska) Lenses company.
*1. KGB (Committee for State Security,) was the main security agency for the Soviet Union till its collapse in 1991.
*2. STASI (Ministry for State Security,) was the official state security service of East Germany which was part of the Soviet bloc until reunification of Germany in 1990.