Umělec magazine 2005/3 >> How Ukrainians Were Looking For Happiness List of all editions.
How Ukrainians Were Looking For Happiness
Umělec magazine
Year 2005, 3
6,50 EUR
Send the printed edition:
Order subscription

How Ukrainians Were Looking For Happiness

Umělec magazine 2005/3


Alena Boika | Ukraine | en cs de es

Not everybody loves revolutions. One person is afraid of them and hates them; someone else hides behind hypocritical clichés. I adore revolutions. It is the time when the overwhelming majority gets to forget any tendency to think about washing machines, albeit briefly. And all those joyful feelings burst forth “We will win” and “Everything is yet to come.”
I was fortunate to be able to go to Kiev during the best days of Ukraine’s orange aspirations.
Revolution instantly made Ukraine visible to the rest of the world, and it was painted in orange. There was such an outburst of unity, on Kiev’s Kreshchatik street and Maidan Nezalezhnosti square, that unavoidable happiness seemed right around the corner. Elderly men and women were dancing accompanied by accordions in pedestrian underground walkways; a brand new group R.E.S (Revolutionary and Experimental Space) organized art actions; a homely short man joyfully offered to play the sopelka, a Ukrainian folk instrument, for passers-by. The little man had come all the way from Odessa or Rostov-on-Don to make a revolution. But he very quickly ran short of money, and making revolution on an empty stomach was cold and hard. Then, he was lucky to get a job as a servant to a Georgian who came to Kiev to share the Georgian revolutionary experience. The Georgian shared his experience in the form of pasties with cabbage, which he was baking on the spot in a revolutionaries’ camp. So, the little man baked pasties all day long and was a servant. In the evenings after ten in his spare time he went out of doors and offered to play any song for anyone in exchange for a cigarette. Or even for nothing. Since the Georgian couldn’t stand the sopelka, he was more than delighted to let this little guy occasionally go out and enjoy the revolution along with everyone else.
…And they won. But then something completely unexpected came about. All those orange flowers of revolution were transformed into national and historical ideas based upon archaeology and ethnography. It was decided to open a Ukrainian Spirituality Hermitage in the Contemporary Art Museum’s premises. Nikolai Babak was selected as the most deserving artist to represent Ukraine at the Venice Biennale; his project Your Children, Ukraine consisted of old brown photographs and dolls in national costumes. Tripolie culture has begun to edge contemporary art out.
This is why it is too soon to bid a farewell to arms. I sincerely hope that the artists who so impressed me with their openness and solidarity uncharacteristic of an art community will not allow their art to become vegetables in a store, and the “raw meat of reality” that had been offered by R.E.S. will continue to be more delicious than these canned cultural and historical realities.



There are currently no comments.

Add new comment

Recommended articles

Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism Terminator vs. Avatar: Notes on Accelerationism
Why political intellectuals, do you incline towards the proletariat? In commiseration for what? I realize that a proletarian would hate you, you have no hatred because you are bourgeois, privileged, smooth-skinned types, but also because you dare not say that the only important thing there is to say, that one can enjoy swallowing the shit of capital, its materials, its metal bars, its polystyrene…
Acts, Misdemeanors and the Thoughts of the Persian King Medimon Acts, Misdemeanors and the Thoughts of the Persian King Medimon
There is nothing that has not already been done in culture, squeezed or pulled inside out, blown to dust. Classical culture today is made by scum. Those working in the fine arts who make paintings are called artists. Otherwise in the backwaters and marshlands the rest of the artists are lost in search of new and ever surprising methods. They must be earthbound, casual, political, managerial,…
The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s The Top 10 Czech Artists from the 1990s
The editors of Umělec have decided to come up with a list of ten artists who, in our opinion, were of crucial importance for the Czech art scene in the 1990s. After long debate and the setting of criteria, we arrived at a list of names we consider significant for the local context, for the presentation of Czech art outside the country and especially for the future of art. Our criteria did not…
There’s 130 kilos of fat, muscles, brain & raw power on the Serbian contemporary art scene, all molded together into a 175-cm tall, 44-year-old body. It’s owner is known by a countless number of different names, including Bamboo, Mexican, Groom, Big Pain in the Ass, but most of all he’s known as MICROBE!… Hero of the losers, fighter for the rights of the dispossessed, folk artist, entertainer…
Where to go next?
out - archeology
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
S.d.Ch, Solitaires and Periphery Culture (a generation born around 1970)
Josef Jindrák
Who is S.d.Ch? A person of many interests, active in various fields—literature, theater—known for his comics and collages in the art field. A poet and playwright foremost. A loner by nature and determination, his work doesn’t meet the current trends. He always puts forth personal enunciation, although its inner structure can get very complicated. It’s pleasant that he is a normal person and a…
Spaghetti Sauce on Your Moo Shoo Pork
Charlie Citron
Road trip Lithuania
Road trip Lithuania
Arunase Gudaitas
Aš menininkas — Aš save myliu Vincent van Gogh in one letter to his brother described a café as a place where one could easily go insane. The café in the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC) in Vilnius is such a place. Insider connoisseurs of the local scene consider it “very bohemian” and, indeed, in contrast to traditionally lackluster and overpriced eateries in museums, the atmosphere in the CAC…
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Under the Shadow of Heroes
Alena Boika
Books, video, editions and artworks that might interest you Go to e-shop
More info...
11 EUR
13 USD
20.5 x 30.5 cm, B/W Collage
More info...
900 EUR
1 044 USD
1997, 24 x 37.7 cm, Pen & Ink Drawing
More info...
558 EUR
647 USD
1995, 35 x 42.5 cm, Pen & Ink Drawing
More info...
892,80 EUR
1 036 USD


Divus and its services

Studio Divus designs and develops your ideas for projects, presentations or entire PR packages using all sorts of visual means and media. We offer our clients complete solutions as well as all the individual steps along the way. In our work we bring together the most up-to-date and classic technologies, enabling us to produce a wide range of products. But we do more than just prints and digital projects, ad materials, posters, catalogues, books, the production of screen and space presentations in interiors or exteriors, digital work and image publication on the internet; we also produce digital films—including the editing, sound and 3-D effects—and we use this technology for web pages and for company presentations. We specialize in ...

Citation of the day. Publisher is not liable for any mental and physical states which may arise after reading the quote.

Enlightenment is always late.
CONTACTS AND VISITOR INFORMATION The entire editorial staff contacts



Arch 8, Resolution Way, Deptford

London SE8 4NT, United Kingdom
Open on appointment


7 West Street, Hastings
East Sussex, TN34 3AN
, United Kingdom
Open on appointment

Ivan Mečl, +44 (0) 7526 902 082

Kyjov 37, 407 47 Krásná Lípa
Czech Republic
+420 222 264 830, +420 602 269 888

Open daily 10am to 6pm
and on appointment.


Potsdamer Str. 161, 10783 Berlin
Germany, +49 (0) 1512 9088 150
Open on appointment.



Divus New book by I.M.Jirous in English at our online bookshop.