Nobody expects war to come to their home. But this is how it happens: people live in a peaceful place and feel safe, then everything changes in a moment and they find themselves in the middle of danger. Conflict remains an unfortunate reality of the human condition. Life is a lot more fragile than we think. I reflected on how can I show this transience and fragility. What can be a symbol of that? At some point I collected postcards sent from the places which later became war zones. Each postcard depicts a beautiful place – now transformed, damaged or destroyed. I ripped the postcards myself – it’s a symbolic representation of violence and destruction going on nowadays in the different parts of the world. All the texts are real: this is what people used to write their nearest and dearest from the countries which are now under attack. Although history of humankind is a history of endless wars, in this particular project I focus on contemporary conflicts which are much more destructive than the ancient ones due to new weapons and patterns of conflict that include deliberate attacks against civilians. “Gone with the War” project was strongly influenced by humanistic values. Among other things, it represents the aspiration for peace. At the same time, the project a dialogue with the Memory and reflection on the future of humankind.
Maria Pleshkova is a multidisciplinary artist working in photography, digital collage and video. Pleshkova graduated from the Law Faculty of Moscow State University, but her career in law wasn’t long because of her passion for photography. Later, she studied Photojournalism at Moscow State University and Short film production at School of Visual Arts (Moscow). Also, she attended the Eddie Adams Workshop (USA) and the International Summer School of Photography (Latvia). Her life and art are inseparably connected. In her work, Pleshkova explores the Microcosm, the human universe, and certain moments of the highest intensity of life. Her recent projects are mostly autobiographical, but the autobiography is just an excuse to talk about things which are universal and common to all humankind. Pleshkova’s work has been shown at several international festivals in France, Spain, Italy, Georgia and Russia.