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Yanka Smetanina

 artist  |  researcher  | curator 

Why do I constantly

feel guilt?

The fateful question of the human species seems to me to be whether and to what extent the cultural process developed in it will succeed in mastering the derangements of communal life caused by the human instinct of aggression and self-destruction. In this connection, perhaps the phase through which we are at this moment passing deserves special interest. Men have brought their powers of subduing the forces of nature to such a pitch that by using them they could now very

easily exterminate one another to the last man. They know this hence arises a great part of their current unrest, their dejection, their mood of apprehension. And now it may be expected that the other of the two heavenly forces, eternal Eros, will put forth his strength so as to maintain himself alongside of his equally immortal adversary.

Z. Freud. Civilization and Its discontents

Is our life possible without violence possible? Aggression is both a driving and destructive force. Without a certain share of agression it is impossible to break through, withstand and survive. What share can be considered acceptable? Is a world without weapons possible?
And do not we provoke our children by offering new and new aggressive toys?

The project is built on the contrast of torn out black-and-white photographs of PLAYING children and a colored background. When a photo is pulled out of the context, then the games turn into scenes of murder and violence.

Personal show. 2014. Zverev Center, Moscow, Russia.

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