all photo by Stván Kovács
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Carbonarium Performance Art Festival 2019
Camera @Igor Ror
Curated by Antonin Brinda, Pinar Derin Gencer, Oleksiy Zaitsev
Using the body as a site to explore the relationship between personal and public, interior and exterior space. Once personal becomes public it also becomes political.
Once I arrived in Kyiv, the memory of my own country and its state after the independence from the USSR, came back. Everything here, in Ukraine, seemed to be broken, corrupted economy, political and social infrastructure, and at the end people too, they get broken in their spirit, feeling helpless and too tired continuously fight against the giant’s regime.
My determination and questions of this broken post-soviet identity, which I suffer from all my life, become the material of my work. I have nothing more left in my life than my body and memories. Memories are leaking through my every action. I fall into the reflection of myself in water over and over again, creating a loud sound that terrifies the audience. Why am I falling into the ground that can not ever be broken? The regime of the state can not be broken either. I feel, I only stand by myself in this world to fight something that I could never win against – the past, historical events that decided my destiny and the corrupted political system. I chose the act of falling as a symbol to express determination and at the same time impossibility to reach what is on the other side, the reflection of myself in water, the reflection which is illusional and only being created due to some physical laws, a reflection of my dreams that I can not reach. I fall into the void of my own memories and dreams. In order to let my body fall, I have to overcome the fear. I have to mentally let go of everything that is in my head, I have to let go of the mind. The moment I fall, I am free. This is as long as I can have it.
I repeat falling three times till my body gets hurt and I can’t do this any longer. Repeating it three times for me it also symbolizes the fact that there have already been three generations enduring these historical events of repression and its consequences.
I go inside and lift the black curtain with my naked and hurt body. I want to open the space to look through the window and see what we hesitate to see, remember and look at. It is a trauma that lives and gets passed on from generation to generation. I feel I use performance art as a tool to research and explore these mental places that could not be reached otherwise and cleanse my memory, reshape, transform and heal my being. I stand on tiptoes reaching up till as long as I can. I slip down and the curtain falls down. These are symbolic gestures inviting the audience to contemplate on our shared fears and collective memories.
I go back to a place in the gallery where is only a glass bowl left filled with the water. The bucket was emptied out. I put my feet again into the overflowing vessel of my memory, or our collective memory and walk in a circle three times… Sometimes turning my head back to see if there are any traces left of my existence. My footprints slowly dry out and disappear forever from the pavement. My performed actions temporarily stay in the memory of viewers.