Migrants series by Chicago-based Krista Svalbonas is a series that explores spatial and psychological ideas of home through rigorously geometric photographic collage.
As the US-born daughter of Latvian and Lithuanian immigrants, Svalbonas considers her family’s background to be “part of a long history of uprooted peoples for whom the idea of ‘home’ is contingent.” These collages are of the three locations where the artist has lived: the greater NYC area, rural Pennsylvania, and Chicago, and each collage contains three photographs. According to her, “anchoring each piece in three geographical points creates a stability that acts as counterweight to the sense of dislocation.”
As someone who moved to the US from Poland, I can certainly relate to Svalbonas’ notion of a “‘homeland’ that remained distant and inaccessible.” And, my having lived in many places over the years mirrors her personal experience as well. When I stumbled on Migrants, the series really struck a chord with me, and the rest of the artist’s body of work is worth checking out, too.