A strong thread of anti-war protest art runs through centuries of history and there is a long tradition of opposition to authority, particularly abusive, entitled, anti-intellectual authority, among visual artists. Born in Russia, and now living in Germany, this month’s featured artist-photographer, Polina Schneider, gives us I, Superhero, an artist’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine since February 24, 2022. Life has changed abruptly there since that date and, with this series, Schneider, like so many other contemporary artists, is trying, in her unique and poetic way, to make sense of it.
The project started as an outlet of my own feelings about the war, merged with fears my family and friends shared with me and the numbness, powerlessness, and guilt we all had in common. I felt (and feel!) paralyzed, helpless while trying to digest all the news and messages that reach me daily. About the war, about the political – I was about to say "change" – but it is not a change, merely a manifestation of autocratical power, its speed, and its continued acceleration. Therefore, the feelings depicted have more dimensions than simply the invasion. It is not even about the war alone but focuses on the current situation in Russia.