A video work, is inspired by the life of the artist’s great-grandmother from his mother’s side, who was born into a large Jewish family in the village of Bryanka in the Lugansk region of Ukraine. She lived the majority of her life in Odesa. In 1941, when Romanian troops entered the city, she first hid in the catacombs and small caves near Odesa. Later, she decided to return to the city.
In the mid 1930s, she burned all her Jewish documents and changed her name to a Russian version. However, she surmised that the copies were stored in the local archive. When she returned home during the occupation, she discovered that the Romanian commandant of Transnistria had settled in the same building where she lived.
HD Video, sound, b/w 2’28’’, loop
In a few days, she turned completely gray—the proximity with this fascist figure, tolerated in tortured silence, was psychologically desaturating. Her daughter, the artist’s grandmother, played everyday in the backyard with the children of the Transnistrian commandant. All boundaries had collapsed… boundaries that were personal and boundaries which were arbitrarily annexed, occupied, and re-authored.
The video shows the 1944 execution of this commandant, the antisemitic Marshal Ion Antonescu, and other commanders. Karabinovych has mixed the video with Klezmer song, Romania, Romania sung by the artist himself.