Invisible Images. 2015. 13 author's analogue images on wooden board, light sensitive emulsion, 12 archival photographies on glass, digital print, Latvian soldier's letter on fabric, list of victims of death camp in Salaspils on fabric, two Super8 films, Super 8 film projectors, 5 texts on paper, 5 books used in research, wooden showcase
In year 1963 Stanley Milgram made a significant discovery in social psychology which has helped psychologists and socilogists to understand the phenomenon of violence in WW II caused by ordinary people being put under a certain ideology or authority. By inviting several voulunteers to take part in scientific research “to improve memory” as it was told them, they really were taking part in experiment which revealed a shocking truth. Two people were seperated by a screen where one would be a teacher and the other – a learner. The teacher would ask the learner questions in a word game and administer a 15-volt electric shock when the answer was incorrect. He was told to increase the voltage with each wrong answer. Participents didn’t know that the learner was an actor and distant screams coming from the next room – fake. However 65 % of the participants were able to perform 450 volt fatal shock only by having authority behind them – an experiment observer who would constantly encourage “the teacher “ continue an experiment, by having been given all the responsibility over observer.
This work talks about those 65 percent who performed 450-volt fatal shock and 35 percent of people who refused to perform it to the person in the next room. The work aims to talk about human being in and outside of context, individuality in a crowd and apart of it.
Work includes historic texts and images of WW II and WW I from Latvian museum of war, Latvian National Library and images from private archives.
Exhibition view from Latvian Centre of Contemporary Art