#041 Lesia Maruschak (b. 1961), Who Is Responsible.

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Starting price
€ 600

About this item


Who Is Responsible (2019)

100% Silk Twill 14 gram

76.2  x 101.6 cm / 30 x 40 in

Unique for the Copenhagen Photo Festival

This Land Was Made For You And Me

The project is a reclamation of history and a statement about resistance, memory, fortitude and descendant trauma. This is where the story begins. The idea of belonging when belonging is impossible. This Land Was Made For You And Me is a story of a young woman. It is a story with roots in the past which extend into our time. When I was a child growing up on the Canadian prairies, I understood that my family and I were different. My first memories of this are from 1996, I was six years old. I couldn’t speak English. No one outside our community could say my name. It is Lesia. I am a descendant of Ukrainian immigrants who came to Canada in search of a better life for themselves and their children. Instead, alongside 8,579 other men, women and children, they found themselves interned from 1914-1920. They were surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. Their dreams collapsed, along with their rights and freedoms. Inspired by images of Canada’s first national internment operations found in Library Archives Canada, this work is a reanimation and reinterpretation of the archive. It attempts to reclaim this time in history when Ukrainians from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, among others, were deemed more or less human. I insert myself into the work, as if I am a woman interned. Reclamation of this colonial subjugation is represented through anonymous self-portraits coupled with images of the Canadian landscape. A series of letters I wrote as an imaginary woman narrate the visual images. Through these gestures I explore the physical and humanitarian scale of this historic event.


About the artist

Lesia Maruschak overlays and reconfigures traditional notions of imagery, often using the medium of photography as the subject itself. Her work frequently explores marginalized histories and notions of cultural identity. Blurring the lines between painting and photography, imagery and objecthood, physical and digital her work volleys between historical traditions and unconventional methods. Photographs expand to digital forms and digital forms are presented in two dimensions, using the processes of experimentation and learning with new techniques and technologies. Her diverse strategies such as hand sculpturing photographs, embedding paper with digital technology, and inserting herself into her work as a rückenfigur subsumed in the grandeur of the Canadian landscape, anonymous, without identity, are the foci of her practice as she continues to explore making and being in relation to her lived experience. Born in 1961 in Saskatoon, Canada Maruschak currently works and lives between Alvena and Ottawa. She holds a MA and MBA. Her works are represented in major collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, among many others. In 2021 she founded the MENEZVUT / I am called collectiv, a group of indigenous and non-indigenous Canadian artists, some emerging and some of Canada’s most celebrated, manifesting their individual and co-created responses, to the decolonization of Canadian history.

Value: € 1200
Bidding ended: 12:00am, 14 June 202112:00am, Monday 14 June 2021Europe/Berlin


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