The Faces They Have Vanished
Installation views, Institute for Interdisciplinary Arts, Bath 2012
The Faces They Have Vanished was a solo exhibition commissioned by Institute for Interdisciplinary Arts, Bath. The installation comprised a series of 14 photographs taken in Crimea in 2012, a wall text and pile of beach pebbles, and the film, Theodosia. The wall text is a list of the names of all the Crimean Tatar villages that were erased when the Tatars were deported on Stalin’s orders to Central Asia in 1944, known as the Sürgünlik (exile).
Everyone it seems has passed through this small peninsula on the Black Sea: Cimmerians, Greeks, Scythians, Romans, Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Genoese, Turks, Khazars, Crimean Tartars, British, Russians and Ukrainians. Six months after the installation was first shown at ICIA Bath, Crimea was annexed by Russia, the start of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine which continues today.
The series of photographs includes views of a mountaintop neo-classical monument blazoned with the words, ‘Shooting Stars of Memory’, the pier at Balaklava (site of a famous battle during the Crimean war with Britain), the buttress of a 1960s sanatorium in Theodosia, the bay of Koktebel, the studio of the sculptor Ariadne Arendt and the tomb of Maximilian Voloshin, ‘Pioneer Lane’, and the paved-over site of the former Museum of Antiquities in Theodosia.