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    When he spoke he fired imaginary shots with his gun shaped hands, 2022

    Когда он говорил, он производил воображаемые выстрелы своими руками в форме пистолета or When he spoke he fired imaginary shots with his gun shaped hands,  is a collection of historical photographs from Edgar Martins’ personal collection, as well as from the photographic archives of The Archive of Modern Conflict (UK) and The Moth House (UK), assembled over a period of five years.

    Inspired by recent geopolitical events, this curated body of work explores another side of war: the mundanity and boredom of war, and the high-stakes, violent, game-like competition and play it creates and forces upon soldiers and citizens.

    After World War II, the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its satellite states began a decades-long struggle for supremacy known as the Cold War. Soldiers of the Soviet Union and the United States did not do battle directly during the Cold War. But the two superpowers continually antagonized each other through political maneuvering, military coalitions, espionage, propaganda, arms buildups, economic aid, and proxy wars between other nations.

    What happens when countries are in a heightened state of war but not directly at war is the context in which these photographs were created.

    Shot primarily by Soviet soldiers between the 1950s and 1980s, these photographs depict spontaneous, often dark and performative acts of violence and play that make the terror of war feel banal, even scripted.