The intervention at Ilica 89 was realized as a photographic collage exhibited in the storefront. Contemporary shop windows most often offer carefully arranged content and visuals which urge us to consume or which serve as a mere mirror in which we consume our own image. The intervention attempted to provide a new function for storefronts, as the markers of urban, postindustrial devastation, thereby providing the passer-by with a different perspective.
This work reframes its outer contours and focuses on the representation of life that transpires outside the above space, in the street. The intervention demonstrates the often contradictory and multifaceted relationship between the city and its inhabitants. However, the reflection in the storefront is no longer the literal one, a reflection – its content offers us flashes and fragments of everyday life, and creates the possibility of self-reflection. An opportunity to view ourselves as city dwellers and to re-examine our own experiences. It was precisely during walks through the city that the series of photographs on display was created.
Contingent, yet carefully selected scenes lend significance to invisible details of urban life. The photographs introduce us to the little mistakes made within the safe flow of everyday life, thus providing spectators with a gaze at the moments that often elude us, yet bear faithful witness to us and our habits in the city.
In contact with the storefront, we no longer consume content that does not belong to us, the content on the other side, which is a potential object of desire – we are the content. Our almost invisible gestures are condensed in frames that record everyday life.
Since the photographs are exposed in a public place, the storefront offers passers-by the opportunity to find beauty in everyday gestures that shape human experiences, while nurturing humanity and solidarity in us. The photographs also encourage us to discover the hidden potentials of city life, to pay attention to the scenes we create and reproduce, the importance of which often escapes our gaze.
The functionality of abandoned, devastated spaces of Ilica, on the canvas of an accelerated, consumerist life-style, rapidly fades from our field of vision because these spaces do not offer us the content to which we are accustomed. Their past, as well as their potential for the future, is forgotten. In this context, The Ilica Project, as well as the work exhibited within it, calls for and coaxes towards a different, more engaged gaze, the spatio-temporality of life already in existence. It is up to us to notice them anew and create conditions for their different realization.