Form of Preservation

Form of Preservation

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July - November 2019

Living-Room Café and the conference room, Center for Urban History

Gratings, in their elementary form of crossed lines, do not contain any decorative peculiarities. They look harsh and brutal. They evoke associations with danger and isolation. Decorating them, use of expensive materials, design, and search for new and more complicated ways to implement them makes them a tool for physical protection, but also a means to cultivate and preserve one’s own identity.

For Tanas Nykyforuk, a primary structure of gratings loses its relevance in front of the aesthetic value. For him, a thorough photographing of gates and forged elements on Lviv buildings is a form of preservation to prevent their loss through documenting their image.

Unlike Nykyforuk’s approach, photography by Serhiy Bratkovsky is emotional and reflective. The series of his works were implemented under the ironic name "May there always be the sun; May there always be a mom." It seems to disclose the two-facedness of Soviet reality. For the author, the sun-like grating on the windows and on the doors were symbols of cultural isolation built on deceit. The sun framed in the metal grating sheltered the windows of buildings from any truth to get in, such as the real sun.

Exhibition "Form of Preservation" is part of the Public history program and the [unarchiving] project of the Urban Media Archive that promotes and actualizes the issues of archival heritage among the public, and uses archive materials in non-academic forms and formats.

Exhibition team:

  • Oleksandr Makhanets, project coordinator for Urban Media Archive
  • Viktoria Panas, assistant at public history programs


  • Bohdan Shumylovych, project coordinator for Urban Media Archive
  • Iryna Matsevko, coordinator of public history projects

Information support: Maryana Mazurak


Сover Image: Serhiy Bratkovsky / Urban Media Archive

Gallery Image: Iryna Sereda