In her mixed-media series Autobiography Without Facts, Belarusian visual artist Masha Svyatogor (b.1989) reflects on the transient state between reality and illusiveness, childhood and adulthood. Based on her experience of being thrown into the real world when growing up, the artist uses collage techniques to assemble imaginary memories from her remaining family photos.
“It’s an ingenuous wish to recapture elusive images of once-living people, to compile a missing story,” Svyatogor explains. “As if putting fragments of a shattered mirror back together, and live through the story again and again.”
The protagonist in her series is the wandering child, navigating through foggy landscapes and disorienting settings. The toddler encounters blurry parents rather used as props, as they are impossible to interact with. This feeling of distance in the images enhances the haunted atmosphere, perhaps due to the conscious intervention of Svyatogor to mix up the layers. The collages poetically capture her quest to restore her memories, whilst allowing the viewer to revisit the turbulence of his or her own childhood.