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art works
 
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Adrian Paci (Albania)
Centro di permanenza temporanea
video
cortesy gallery Kaufmann Repetto, Milan
2007
 
 
Centro di Permanenza Temporanea (literally Centre of Temporary Permanence) is a place where illegal immigrants await extradition to the country from which they came. The procedure for “illegals” who have arrived on the south coast of Italy takes an extremely long time, and many immigrants find a way to run away, leaving themselves in a sans papier status, i.e. without any documents, in a grey area of society.
A more common translation of Centro di Permanenza Temporanea is “Detention Centre”. Recently this title was changed in Italian law to Centro di Identificazione ed Espulsione (CIE), in line with the current trend in migration policy. 
 
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Fantoccini from the Titans series,
acrylic on canvas,
2012
 
 
Titans - a geopolitical caricature sees the continuation of Yuri Solomko’s series mistetska kartografia (Art Cartography) begun back in 1991. In the current project, Titans are people who want to rise above the rest, and change the world to suit their view of it. Usually these are politicians and media stars, sometimes housewives and office workers. Their transformation occurs as the artist moves them around the space of the world map. Each of them symbolizes a particular part or continent of the planet where he or she is situated. A few figures are linked to particular subjects: “erotic”, “puppet theatre”, “philistine” and so forth. The subjects are varied, but thanks to the map, each story comprises a geopolitical subtext. The artist also includes himself among the Titans, insofar as he works with the whole world. In order to lighten this “excessive burden”, he resorts to caricature.
 
 
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Legendary
photographs
 2008-2012
 
 
The photographic series Legendary – is an attempt to create a complete story, both visually and psychologically. The story is of a city of bygone Russian glory, and about how from this image only the rust of abandoned ships and irrational references to connections to past traditions remains. These are references to some sort of “oceanic” freedom, one which is simultaneously built upon strictly warlike and regulated lines. Legendary documents the fast-moving change in Sevastopol’s appearance from the severity and military bearing of a closed city to the depersonalized image of a seasonal provincial tourist destination.
 
 
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The Unities
audio installation,
2012
 
 
The reality of Ukrainian public life is full of the energy of various forms of xenophobia. The artist is researching the boiling point of nationalistic passions, the passion of societies, each of which has its own enemy figure, collective aggression as one of the driving forces in political life, and groups in conflict, which feed each other up with the energy of mutual hatred. In particular, she looks at aggressive competition for public space – about how competition among conservative, patriarchal nationalist groups still remains “man’s business”. Yet in spite of this, the sound of nationalist street and media battles also reaches the woman’s personal, individual realm, as the sound of the crowd can be heard through the kitchen window.
The cooking pot becomes a closed, isolated space in which members of movements who practise discrimination and exclusion find themselves together again and again. This space resembles a closed country, where confrontation leads to destructive chaos. It is also its own brand of closed community, whose inhabitants are chiefly busy indulging in discriminatory rituals with respect to one another. Yet they also have long-term plans concerning those of us who would prefer to remain outside the bounds of this community.
 
 
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Simona Rota  (Spain)
photography from the seria Ostalgia,
Kirguizstan. Formet Lenin Palace. 2010
Lake Sevan. Armenia. Writers’ Summer House. 2011

Almaty. Kazakhstan. Gazebo over the Sports Center Medeo. 2010

Tbilisi. Georgia. Central Aquatic Sports. 2011
 

 
 
In German, “Ost” means East. “Algos”, from the Greek, translates as pain. Ostalgia is a linguistic joining-together as much of the impossible, as it is of the desire to rebuild something which perhaps never really existed. Ostalgia is a series of photographs taken over two years from 2010 to 2012 for the Vienna Architecture Museum. The artist joined a research group whose goal was to look for, preserve and study Soviet archives relating to the architecture of the fifteen republics of the former USSR.
These buildings are mostly massive structures puffed up with a spirit of heroism, made grander still by their situation in enormous public spaces which are oppressive to people. The buildings were planned and built as an expression of triumph, at that time in the form of stately common areas, in contrast to small private ones, demonstrating a will to control both the public and even the private life of the individual. State-supported building works were characterised by brave, often experimental projects. They were encouraged to look for images of strength, progress, prestige and economic success. These enormous structures now stand like peculiar giants, like big dreams, depreciated by history, and they create real and artificial space onto which it is easy to project unease, myths, and nostalgia.
 
 
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Trilogy: The Triumph of Fragility, Immersion, In the memorial Poor Lisa
video, 11’34"
Russia/Sweden,
2002
 
 
Script and direction: Nataliya Pershina-Yakimanskaya (Gluklya) and Olga Yegorova (Tsaplya) 
Camera: Dmitri Vilenskiy, Anna Kolosova. Project finance: Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art, Sweden.
 Thanks to: students of Nakhimovsky College and divers from Lomonosov, and to Charles Eshe (Scotland)
 
Trilogy comprises three performance films – The Triumph of Fragility, Immersion and Memorial to Poor Lisa – in which the theme of truth and dreams is identified with material and fabric. Sailors march along the bridal routes of St Petersburg, holding tiny white dresses in their hands – dresses of fantasy in the hands of romantic heroes, of rough young men whose destiny is to turn into the Princes of some girl’s dream. Their lives are connected to water, and the water motif runs as a thread through each of the films in the trilogy. Water is a poem of love, death and the unknown. A 30-second recording of Gluklya and Tsaplya’s famous leap into the Swan Canal concludes the trilogy in the manner of the end of Poor Lisa herself, once upon a time.
 
 
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«Territorial pissings (Security service department – Zoo / Town Council – Circus)»
video, 4’26”
2012
 
 
 
The artists spilt a red line on the ground around the Kharkov SBU (Ukrainian Secret Service) building which then led to the zoo, and then another one from the city administration building to the circus. The lines are a critical retort aimed at organs of state power and their working principles. Using a line to make a statement gives it the visual form of a syntax, expressing its actions through the language of graffiti and street art. These acts were not political protests, but rather a meditation on political art in the urban environment. Since graffiti and street art are often a way for their creators to publicise themselves in the urban realm, or just exist as decorative forms, the ephemeral nature of the red line asks a question about how far such public actions and expressions are responsible, and what their value is. Except where they were close to official institutions, the red lines enjoyed a lifespan of about a week before disappearing with melting snow.
(Mykola Ridnyi)
 
 
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from the series "Human planet",
Sevastopol, New York, Irak, Ukraine and Russia unification 2,
photogtaphy,
2000
 

 
 
Human Planet is a series of photographs showing images of mutilated bodies. We are asked to consider the body in question not just as the body of a person, but as the body of the Earth. The photographs were made by superimposing two exposures of bodies and maps one on top of the other. Deformed bodies with maps of the Earth’s hotspots projected onto them become a visualisation of processes which are occurring in those places; at the same time, a personal tragedy assumes a planetary scale.
 
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Yesterday, today, today
installation: granite, marble, glue tape,  museum showcases, photography, 2012 

 
 
Built in the Soviet era, the Kiev metro system was, just like the Moscow metro, an ideological space, and stands in contrast to Western metro systems which are more or less exclusively utilitarian. It was conceived as a subterranean public pleasure dome, with vaulted-ceilinged halls, and decorations full of symbols. In the post-ideological time of the last two decades, the metro has joined the list of spaces opening themselves up to invasion by liberated commercial interests. Today the metro station halls have become advertising space, with the monumental scale of these former ideological palaces now serving competing advertisers. The stone of Soviet modernist antiquity is hidden behind self-adhesive film. The fact that the dormant ideological yesterday of Soviet granite and marble now carries constantly-renewing adhesive film with bright “It’s today, forever!” advertising seems to me like an image of rebellion against the future, one which angrily reflects our times and the places in which we live.
 
 
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Portrait of Amal

Photographs, 
2012
 
 
In this series of photographs I talk about the experiences of a person whose biography, way of life, outlook and corporeality turn predominant Ukrainian perceptions of what constitutes normal sexuality on their head. This person’s everyday habits are both the consequences of marginalization and exclusion, and at the same time they are methods of overcoming them.
Amal is an transsexual who has been diagnosed with true hermaphroditism. Amal’s passport says he is a man, and yet Amal feels that she is a woman. For the last 40 years, Amal has been trying in vain to obtain official permission to have a sex change. Experimenting on herself, and looking for and trying out different social roles have become part of her identity, and have turned into her personal language of communication both with other people and with reality.
 
 
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Ukrainian land
Video, 01’53”,
2010
Music: Oleksandr Kohanovsky
Thanks to: Vladimir ArsentyevNew Channel,Ukraine
 
 
 
Not so long ago, the words “Sell the land where you were born” were treason. Now a new patriotic rhetoric of the type “the land needs a master” and “public land = nobody’s land” is driving the sale of land (where Ukrainians were born) into the realm of the permissible, even of the desirable. The position: “land not for sale” is becoming the inheritance of radical conservatives. Opposition to the sacred status of Ukrainian land and its commercial potential is at the heart of public discussion.
A short video appears to show romantic Ukrainian landscapes along with histrionic music, but then at the end reveals itself to be an advertisement for land for sale. Ukrainian Land is about the market potential for the rhetoric of national patriotism when it combines elements of semi-official representation of a country and commercial advertising. 
 
 
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Favourite places
video, 17’34”, 
2009
 
 
 
 
Favourite places is a series of video pieces about urban space. In order to serve a purpose and coexist with its inhabitants, this space is accordingly both planned and uniform, functionally and aesthetically regimented. As a living space for each of us, the city is permeated with personal needs and aspirations, desires or interests. Despite the fact that it may be limited by the standardized facades and borders which help constitute “public order”, the private chaos of which the city is full inevitably bursts free from the enclaves which it is assigned into the organized space of public representation, invoking unexpected mutations and deformities. The redefinition of originally designated functions, the perfection of some kind of fragment of urban structure in order for it to fulfil a personal function or idea of what it should be designed for, and the aesthetic refashioning of things to suit a personal feeling of what really is brilliant are all the creations of anonymous hands. And yet these creators are genuine inhabitants of the city too, people who transform space which is uniform according to general needs, adapting it for use or for a declaration of their personal desires. (Lesya Kulchinskaya)
 
 
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Untitled

photographic installation
 2011
 
 
 
Sunny Walk (also renowned in the times of the Russian Empire as the “Czars’ Walk” and the “Horizontal Walk”) is a footpath on the South Coast of Crimea. The path begins at the Rosa Luxemburg sanatorium (in the spa-town of Gaspra) and ends up by the Livadiya sanatorium, near to the Livadia Palace. The path is decorated with ornate sculptures and lined with exotic trees and bushes as well as original benches for taking a rest. Even on baking-hot days, a pleasant cool reigns in the oak and hornbeam forest. It is not by chance that the path is called healing (or the walk of good health) – practically all the healing elements of the local climatic resort are present and acting upon the path. Beautiful panoramic views of the South Coast of Crimea open up from viewing areas. Wikipedia. (А. Salmanov)
 
 
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From the series Wonderland

canvas, acryllic 
2010
 
 
The series of pictures entitled Divokrai (Wonderland) emerged as a result of observing Ukrainian landscape whose spaces are changing along with breakneck and chaotic privatization and development. Lesya Khomenko depicts already existing structures as digital models, demonstrating a conflict between the project and the reality of construction.
Works on display at the exhibition are based on buildings in the Crimean resort town of Gurzuf.
 
 
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Magic chalky circle
documentation of public art project, ZurichSwitzerland,
2010
 
 
 
In 2010 in Zurich, the artist gave out chalk and pieces of paper in the street. She suggested to passers-by that if they were worried about their personal space and did not trust other people, they should take a piece of yellow chalk and mark out a territory around themselves. In this way, they could protect themselves from the “negative energy” carried by people who intruded on their space from outside. But people who drew a line around themselves found that they were immobilized, prisoners of their own circles.
Every tradition has its rituals and its identifying marks. Chalk is often used in magic, and a chalk circle is a symbol of protective energies. In Switzerland, demarcation of a yellow colour signifies private space, usually for private car parking. Documentation took the form of a mock-up book, in which photographs from the street art project were used as an illustration for a non-existent text, dedicated to the aspiration to isolate oneself and to myths spurred by the fear of the “other”. 
 
 
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Untitled (Radetzky March)
оbject
2010
 
 
This work is the beginning of research into the interplay of meanings of words with their location on the pages of a book. The novel Radetsky March by Joseph Roth is a chronicle of the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. On two facing pages two words are marked in pencil: “right” and “left”. In the army, these words were used as marching orders. At the same time, they have a political meaning.
 
 
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Headless
An intervention in public space
2012
 
 
Beings with arms and legs, and yet they are hardly akin to people, because they have not got heads.
They can’t see, only their arms and legs have contact with the world.
They travel in magnificent cars, make appearances in public places, and lay flowers at memorials.
Silent beings in full-length garments are not perceived as “ordinary people”, even though they are polite and obey the rules.
You may not arrest them for breaking the law, and yet their very presence evokes both fear and hilarity at the same time, and perhaps – in a particular way – a breach in public order.