Rest Behind the Curtain is an artist’s attempt to explore the seasonal habits and rituals which comprise the vacation culture of the former Eastern Bloc. The images are conceived by nostalgia, by the experiences and memories of someone who was born and raised behind the Iron Curtain.
Tourism on the eastern side of the Iron Curtain, contrary to most other countries, was not a branch of the economy but rather a social movement characterized by a sense of purpose. Magnificent spas were built for the workers who could rest and re-energize, following a pseudo-futuristic health regimen in preparation for the working year ahead. Free time and work were not separate but connected, and regular sanatorium stays were seen as a way of increasing productivity. Naturally, a lot has changed since the collapse of the curtain. These states have all been going through some kind of cultural transformation, and even vacations have become associated with consumerism and hedonism rather than recreation and recuperation.
An experience of a space affects our experience of time. The sensation introduced by space can sometimes awaken concealed memories, both personal ones and deep-seated cultural recollections, the existence of which we might not even realize. I travel to the places where time had stopped, in search of the stillness and monotony of the former Eastern Bloc. I explore the seasonal habits and rituals which comprise the vacation culture of the region. I dig into the past to create images conceived by nostalgia, by the experiences and memories of someone who was born and raised behind the Iron Curtain.
Alongside images of depressingly decayed spaces, the figures in the photos emit a kind of “civic pride”. Through them the artist expresses his warmth towards a culture and way of life which will soon be gone. The resulting series is nostalgic, heart-warming and full of humor.