By Law

  • installation, 2022/2023

“In emigration, you find yourself in a new world, it’s like starting a new life. We’ve experienced unjust political trials in Belarus. At every stage of obtaining the permit to get married in Poland, we encountered numerous difficulties. This experience is reflected in the works we created.”

The work was inspired by the artists’ experience of emigrating from Belarus and trying to get married in Poland. In 2021, arts and activist couple Uladzimir Hramovich and Lesia Pcholka were arrested for participating in protests in Belarus. After leaving prison, they decided to move to a safer place. Once in Poland, they started the procedure to get married. Previously, they had not considered it, treating the institution of marriage as a relic of patriarchal upbringing. However, marriage makes it easier  for emigrants to go through procedures connected with obtaining residence permit and receiving assistance. For heteronormative Poles, its conclusion is but a formality, but for emigrants it is a long, complicated proces full of red tape. The installation “By Law” (“ПРАЗЗАКОН” in Belarusian) is a reflection on the role of relationships in the difficult reality of emigration, but also on the position of marriage in a rapidly changing world. Its elements are the documents the artists had to submit to Polish offices and a wedding bouquet with flowers shaped like the countries through which they emigrated. The work is accompanied by the video “HEIMAT” (German for “homeland”).