The Watch and Wait project is inspired by the assignments John Baldessari prepared for his CalArts students in the 1970s. This is a never-ending self-exploration of the psychological and existential aspects of life with a rare and incurable cancer called chronic where the standard protocol is ‘watch and wait’ - life with the unknown. Working on the series, I view the treatment protocol as a domain of inspiration, while being aware that my 2009 diagnosis with this disease has affected not only the stories I tell myself about my life and who I am, but also my present. . The works deal with subconscious, dreams, visions which can not be explained, aiming to depart from the usual way of coping. The project strives to convey my personal poetic experience caused by the natural environment, where the line between the a line between the real and the imagined has been erased.
While making the photographs, I seek a playful yet critical manner of depicting the experience of ‘watching and waiting’ and its impact on my identity. As I dissect, reconstruct, and manipulate the imagery I am asking myself: ‘How does watch and wait feel" and “Who am I now?”. In presenting the works I continue to explore a visual vocabulary around mythology, fairytales, and hospital imaging. My goal is to represent the complexity of the diagnosis and treatment protocol, in the context of the perplexing human delusion that we will live forever - one which I woke up from – as does Sleeping Beauty with the kiss of her prince.
Shot in Saskatchewan during the late summer of 2018, on our family farm and the neighbouring cemetery, where I now play and will later rest with my ancestors. Most of the props - the dollhouse, ethnic costume and Ukrainian reader - are from my childhood and were preserved by my parents.