The Weight of Unknown Lives

Recollections and Other Delusions series


The soldiers who wore these Russian and German helmets during WWII didn’t necessarily have a choice about which side to take. Estonians were drafted to both armies and often ended up fighting each other.

The helmets are placed on scales manufactured in Tartu before the war had even begun during Estonia’s first independence, and are equally balanced, just as everyone is equal in the face of death. They have been repaired with gold, using theĀ kintsugiĀ technique – the art of repairing broken ceramic objects with golden seams.


Gold leaf, WWII Soviet Russian helmet, WWII German helmet, pre-WWII scale from Tartu, Estonia. 2016.