Clemens Poole


untitled (American Smiles)


The artist adds exaggerated smiles to the people in the photos selected from the archive of the Lviv Center for Urban History. That is how he tries to ‘fix’ their gloomy expression caused by the temporal, political and geographical context. At the same time Poole admits that from his Western perspective, this oddity and difference in the look is appealing, and that editing the photos is an act of colonization. The people in the photo on the flag are taken out of their socio-political context and through the extra smiles they pretend to look like Americans, whose image is only proper and universal.