Sergiy Petlyuk / / Сергій Петлюк

Shards of Reality


Multi-channel video installation, objects

This project about loss, death, destruction, and despair that shattered our previous lives. But at the same time, it is about eternity, an incomprehensible category that takes on real shape in dark times.

Shards of broken glass can be found in old abandoned buildings, where they witness the slow fading of a once vibrant life. But often they speak not so much of time-stretched destruction as of instantaneous damage, of what was intact and unharmed until recently, but now is ruined and dead. In these shards one can see fragmented reflection of the surrounding space, objects, sky, water, clouds, air. But one can also see oneself in them, also battered, deformed, fragmented. Is it possible to put the broken puzzles of a lost reality back together again?

By projecting moving images onto broken glass, I provoke them to reflect, disintegrate and change. These images are simple parts of the surrounding landscape. They are not something special in themselves. Rather, they are demonstrations of fundamental stability and eternity plucked from reality that seem to be trustworthy – water flowing slowly, clouds gradually changing shapes, etc. But do they remain so after they break through, shatter, and bounce off countless shards of glass? Or do their imprints on the walls, ceiling, and floor bring hope back to the surrounding space?

I dedicate this project to Yevhen Hulevych, a Ukrainian philosopher, thinker, translator and my close friend who died earlier this year in the city of Bakhmut, defending my country from the russian invasion.