“There were such friends, there were such opportunities: this apartment itself, this basement, this attic – they are a part of life and all the passions. Even the exhibitions weren't so important – it was important to hang out and booze up. Not to booze up in a sense of “drinking on a bench”, but to talk, socialize, entertain… And the room was big enough: a man lives and has enough space to host a company of friends. One needs more than desire – in other words, a certain kindness – but an ability to hang out eminently. A “gang” as a lifestyle and a type of activity” - thus an artist Yuriy Sokolov comments on his own art practice and activity of Chervoni Rury gallery.
In the second half of the 1990s he hosted many exhibition projects, discussion meetings and festival performances on his private territory – in the basement, the attic and the backyard of the Lviv apartment building in 24 Yefremova Str., where he lives until today. Since those times the basement, the attic and the yard have been real components of Sokolov's artistic thinking that he described as “life art”. Life art is opposite to the term “life style”, concordant at first sight, formed by glamour industry due to its special types of consumption, - and in fact is an anti-consumerist. He doesn't try to escape from the obsessive everyday life, but transforms it into materials for creativity and interactions.
Without reference to Sokolov's ideas, similar attitude to everyday life may be found in works of many Lviv and Uzhgorod artists: in Gabriel Buletsa's work “Collections” that develops around the idea of collecting, classification and visual backup of various phenomena – from consonants of the Cyrillic alphabet to car accidents that happen in the street where the artist lives in; in Stanislav Turina's object “Dedicated to Mothers” which enlarges as the artist accumulates old clothing and uses it as a material for weaving a flowery rug; in Yaroslav Futymsky's numerous “practices” that are born by endless meditations on his own existence, movements and aesthetic surroundings; finally, in Yuriy Sokolov's photo albums in which he has been meticulously making “visual noise” for the last 10 years: press-cuttings, postcards, old and new photographs, and other useless items.
This type of art practice gained a conceptual concentration in a project “89 Days of Winter”. In winter 2012-2013 in the circle of close friends and colleagues Anton Varga created an information-art flow made of everyday things. Opening every evening a new exhibition in his kitchen, the artist resorted to a conscious participation in his own every day life that produces creative energy and critical thinking as effectively as traditional professional art practices do. As Anton Varga states in a project's concluding text, “Everything was obviously happening not for the art's sake, but for a meditation upon our place here-and-now every day, our existence in that town, winter, inside my apartment in Dzherelna Str. And out of it, together with others and separately”. This sentence exactly describes fundamentals of “life art” - “not for art's sake”, “meditation upon our place here-and-now”, “together with others and separately”.