Trying to find one’s place between the walls of the past and the future, the artists have created a body of compelling, emotionally charged works. On the ground floor was an installation by Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos made of steel, cotton and mirror serving as a metaphor to re-imagine the self, while the dance of Inka Juslin invited the audience on higher floors into an unknown, mysterious land of performances, poetry, music and video projections.
“the continuous search to find oneself and to re-invent oneself – was evident in the works presented.”
Courtesy of the Ukrainian Institute of America and Re-Imagine Art Festival
On the second floor was an exhibit of black & white and sepia photographs by Petro Hrytsyk. The images, portraying desolated places and abandoned objects infused with a light coming from the depth of the author’s memory, were filled with a nostalgia of Nabokov intensity. In one piece, a butterfly pinned to a wall is a desire and an attempt to stop the moment, the “now”. In another, the image of half ruined Greek statues lying in the middle of a forest and an older man standing with his eyes closed resembles a game of hide and seek. It begs the question: “are the ruins still there where you played as a child?”
Transmigration, transmutation, transformation, transfiguration- a “trans” in anything- the continuous search to find oneself and to re-invent oneself – was evident in the works presented. The video installation of Katya Grokhovsky, an eternal migrant who spends her time between three countries Ukraine, Australia, America combined the personal and the political in a humorous fashion. The video portrayed the artist performing the male part of the Ukrainian national dance Hopak, while the female part was projected on the screen behind her. Referring to patriarchal regimes, the artist uses her personal experiences coupled with a childhood wish to dance the more dynamic, male role.
Artists’ re-imagination of their selves and their experiences isn’t about “drawing a line” that divides the visible and clear (reality) from vague and shadowy (memories, dreams), but rather accepting the inseparability of both.
When the curator Virlana Tkacz rang a little bell, the audience moved from one room to another, as if playing hopscotch, ready to discover more untold stories.