Amber Room

2014— 2017

"Reflective nostalgia thrives in álgos, the longing itself, and delays the homecoming—wistfully, ironically, desperately. It (…) dwells on the ambivalences of human longing and belonging and does not shy away from the contradictions of modernity. Restorative nostalgia protects the absolute truth, while reflective nostalgia calls it into doubt." Svetlana Boym

Amber Room is a body of work made in between two countries- Lithuania and Scotland. The condition of nostalgia, personal and collective, is at the centre of Amber Room. The photographic series started as a visual exercise in longing and loss and has evolved to concentrate on reflective nostalgia.

Personal memories, versions of history, political identity and the poetic are equally important layers of Amber Room. A distanced and critical view combined with a deep emotional search for familiarity in the context of the current political climate of Europe create the tension that the series emerged from.
Contrasting notions of home and migration, the personal and political, East and West, longing and fear are used to make photographs that show landscapes and interiors, portraits and still lives, winter and summer, constructed tableaus and snapshots. Based on childhood memories and fragments of visits to the home country as a migrant, Amber Room is as real as it is fictional. Real enough to appear in the evening light coming in through crocheted curtains in a small kitchen, or in memories of Soviet tanks leaving dark trails in the snowy streets of Vilnius, but too fictional to ever be found.

Archival inkjet prints (framed and unframed), publication, photographic light box, lightbox from Baltic Sea amber, audio piece Independency, inkjet prints on black sugar paper mounted on mdf. 

©Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte 2023
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