System of Absurdity
22nd January - 5th March 2017
In October 2015 Barry Falk visited Lithuania as part of the MAP 6 Collective, a collective project that explores the shifting concept of what defines modern Europe. For this particular project he was interested in exploring the impact of the Soviet Occupation on the country between 1944 and 1991.
The ‘Soviet Bunker’ is a staged environment, constructed from the leftover paraphernalia of the Soviet Occupation, set within a former Soviet telecommunications centre, designed to keep broadcasting in the eventuality of a nuclear war.
Built between 1983 to 1985, the Russians abandoned the bunker in 1991, stripping the space clear, leaving a 2500 m2 square grid of bare concrete cells.
The bunker has been adapted into a place of theatre, the rooms filled with salvaged Soviet paraphernalia; random doors opening onto a bewildering array of meticulously arranged rooms. Within this set space an actor, in full KGB uniform, is employed to issue out a torrent of abuse at the audience. It is a one-man tour de force, a piece of absurdist theatre, designed to highlight the absurdity of real events.
These intricate set pieces occupy an interstice between the abandoned and the occupied, the past and the present, fiction and reality, fear and trauma.
For his m2 Gallery exhibition, Falk will present seven photographs taken from his series made at the ‘Soviet Bunker’. The work beautifully captures the eerie unreality of this subterranean and claustrophobic environment.
Barry Falk is a photographer working out of Worthing in Sussex whose work we enjoyed in the London Photo Festival 2016.