Our Crimea

Installation “Our Crimea” is a reflection on the 2014-16 Russian-Ukrainian crisis and annexation of Crimean peninsula, a popular resort on the Black Sea. War in Ukraine undermined hundreds of years of coexistence and collaboration between two closely related nations, created deep political and economic crisis, generated hate and misunderstanding amongst people in this region.

This piece is constructed as a cross-intersection of two themes: “The Resort” and “The War.” The Resort theme is portrayed as a beach setting. Two beach chairs placed on the pile of sand are facing the assembly of peaceful Crimean landscapes on the gallery wall. Landscapes are reproductions of commissioned work painted by Ivan Aivazovsky at the end of 19th century depicting city of Yalta and its surroundings. The choice of the city wasn’t a random decision: at the end of the World War II, in February of 1945 leaders of 3 leading countries involved in the war: US, UK and Soviet Russia have discussed the future of Nazi’s Germany during the conference held in Yalta. Two facing each other semi-walls with monitors are framing the War scene. Each monitor features a looping video portrait of a person reciting from A. Pushkin’s poem “Ukrainian Night” in Ukrainian and Russian languages. The reading tone escalades into a verbal war as two people throw poem’s words at each other but then it vanishes into a beach sound of sea waves and seagulls flying by.