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There will be no exaggeration to assert that a fundamental “adhesive substance” of contemporary Western Ukrainian artistic community is a continuous active communication between its participants while a close circle of interactions with colleagues-associates-friends often is an only organic ground to present art ideas and works. As Lyudmyla Voropaj says in a project glossary “The Impossible Community”: “In everyday use communication usually means a process of free exchange of verbal, visual and another information between two and more subjects. […] “To communicate” in a meaning of “to make common” has its origin in a Latin verb communicare and assumes certain, conditionally speaking, substance that is being made common in the act of communication […]”.[1] So the language becomes not only an instrument of expression, but a mutual space of creation as well as a democratic art medium that gives an opportunity to work on a quality art product without technical, financial and institutional support – first of all because of eloquence, literacy and polygraphic capabilities. Experimental poetry, published in large editions and unique samvydav (self-publishing), textual compositions and situational live performances – similar projects that “thematize” a language and imitate other genres of cultural production can be found in portfolios of many Lviv and Uzhhorod authors.


Maybe the most significant person in this context is Lviv resident Lyubomyr Tymkiv – “a Renaissance man”, as Stas Turina humorously calls him. Besides his art works, practices as a restorer and curating a garage gallery tymutopiyapres, Tymkiv writes poetry, is engaged in asemic (wordless) writing, periodically comes out as an independent publisher and self-publishes small books of his own poetry and his friends' works, also he is published in similar collections of foreign artists who he has been corresponding with and exchanging mail-art for ages. Tymkiv's last book – a small, but eccentrically printed compilation of Stanislav Turina's experimental poetry “Cover”. Its quote (“36 shots in the form of bright blue balloons that open up in the skies into splendid green-violet peonies”) became a next exhibition title within “Open Аrchive”.


Longing for a “printed word” reveals itself in a production of hand-made art books that exist in one or two copies and  are carefully kept by authors in their home archives. Sometimes they “come out” to a wider audience and are self-published as a limited edition, mostly to be distributed among friends. Vadym Harabaruk and Andrij Stegura are pioneers of contemporary Zakarpattia samvydav (self-publishing). In 1989 they created first 10 copies of hand-written art magazine “Ya1”. In 1996 and 1998 next two issues were published in a limited edition, and new authors from “Poptrans” also made their contributions. For the last ones the language in general and Zakarpattia dialect as a cultural phenomenon in particular, became one of many projects' main motives including pictorial ones. Marsel Onysko and Robert Saller's mutual art series “Carpathian album” demonstrates covers of non-existent records of local non-existent music bands with pompous (and obscure) names whose style neatly corresponds with unwritten laws of pop industry. Interpretation of all exotic words on covers can be found in a glossary which is added to the project with stereotypical reviews of a typical music critic what intensifies plausibility of paintings-covers and their authors' ironic mood.


Another noticeable line is Russian-language textual practice (Yurij Sokolov, Ne_Dva) whose roots are concerned with a Russian literary tradition and a certain connection with a Moscow conceptual stage of 1980-1990s as in Yurij Sokolov's case. Perhaps, naming the 7th Lviv Academy of Arts and Literature, which was “established” by Yurij Sokolov and Dmytro Kuzovkin in 1995, after Mike Johansen is a bright evidence of special relations to the history of literature. As it might be expected, such ephemeral institution had its own periodical - “The Academy Journal”. However, the only copies of its various issues were rather usual variations of Sokolov and Kuzovkin's joint creative work. In this case “An interview with myself” written by Yurij Sokolov in 1990s according to all rules of art-journalism with its questions-about-nothing (“What place does eclecticism take in your works?”) and diffuse answers can be boldly considered as the summit of playing with a publicistic genre.


Are all previously mentioned examples independent pieces of art? Maybe there are some exceptions. But no doubt, all these texts, dialogues, poetry, papers and numerous documentation of vivid life of two cities (see #creating communities) in the best way record acts of communication between their cultural heroes and through them this perpetual communication arises as a phenomenon with absolute artistic value. Thinking upon communicative practices in a world context, Lyudmyla Voropaj notices that a core of any art event becomes less important than created situation of communication between an artist and spectators and then among spectators, therefore it is not so important to create a special art object anymore. Instead, it is enough for the artist to “present publicly his own Dasein as it is, consciously or not playing his role as a communicator (or “commutator”) that builds a communicative field”. [3]


1. Glossary. Viktor Miziano's project catalogue “The Impossible Society”, p.51:

2. Mike Johansen – a famous Ukrainian poet of a period of so called “Executed Renaissance”, lived in Kharkiv and wrote in 1920-1930s exceptionally in Ukrainian.

3. Glossary, p.52

Yaroslav Futymsky, rivnonapovnenist. rivnoznachnist
performance (photo documentation by Oleksiy Salmanov)
performance, Les Kurbas Centre, Kyiv
Lubomyr Tymkiv, H.N.Y.O.14
Anastasia Rudneva, From the Section of Context Presence project
Dzyga gallery, Lviv
Andriy Stegura, Breath (Vdoh)
object, Biryuchiy, Zaporizzhya region
The object was created during the artist's residency on Biryuchiy island. Stegura installed a motion sensor at the doorway of one of local buidings which lights the lamp when someone approaches. The lamps's design is reminescent of classical Soviet industrial lighting with stencil-painted word "ВХОД" ("ENTRANCE"), yet is slightly altered by the artist into "ВДОХ" ("BREATH"). It is planned to have another one saying "ВЫДОХ" ("EXHALE") in the opposite part of Ukraine in Zakarpattya region.
Andriy Stegura, EROS' ERROR

Unknown books with collaged anonymous messages addressed to a beloved girl who may find them one day on a library shelf...This expressly naive and romantic artist’s description of these objects stresses on their absurdist nature: a random book deprived of its original function delivers another textual message, which in fact doesn’t have any clear sense and even real addressee. Conceived as a tool for private communication by Stegura’s alter ego, these books-letters exist an imaginary nowhere-state. They seem to be stuck between the real objects that can neither be sent forward nor returned back to the library, and the art works based on Stegura’s reflection on the essence of language as well as conventionality of its graphic expression means.

Andriy Stegura, 92 Days of Summer
Lubomyr Tymkiv, Mechanical devices for automatic poetry production - Dada Poetry Machine & Asemic Poetry Machine

Аt the opening of the exhibition Marco Giovenale "Glyphs (and) Encyclopaedia", tymutopiyapres gallery

October 6, 2012

Lviv, Ukraine

Stanislav Turina, Question Mark - Exclamation Mark
public art
object, public art
Ne Dva, Vol`No_
found objects and phenomena + interaction with the environment + photofixation + direct transfer forward
Lubomyr Tymkiv, Manifest "Against the National artistic council of Ukraine"

Любомир Тимків


ПРОТИ НСХУ (поетичний маніфест)


Якщо ти художник

і інших ти сфер,

НСХУ для тебе

це “Ху” від тепер.


Так, пенсію зроблять

і честь і хвала,

та ось на плечах

не твоя голова.


І звідки ж узятись

там силам новим,

коли все гниле

віддають молодим.


Достатньо, пожило

розбещене Ню,

НСХУ час скидати

В кромешну пітьму.

Ne Dva, non_visible_agitation+ asemic_write & post_literature
found objects and phenomena + interaction with the environment + photofixation + direct transfer forward
Marsel Onysko, Carpathian Album (together with Robert Saller)

Artists' text about the project:


Are you living somewhere you do not want to? Perhaps you should prepare for a good trip. Find your favorite armchair… electric fire… wrap yourself up in a flannel blanket… it's rainy outside… wild is the wind… last trams leaving to depot... You are closing your eyes or lingering on patterns of your old wallpaper and all of a sudden you hear sounds from your childhood: a seething waterfall… a deer carefully approaching a creek while under the quiet watch of a bear.  The fragrances of herbs and spicy smells of mushrooms — everything is so real that you are already part of this picture. Then you sit down on the trolley of mountain narrow-gauge railway and meditate on the music appropriate for this scene. You thoughts are flowing… your mind is going through your entire record collection and when it couldn't find something just right, it produces a new one especially for this case.

Close your eyes and imagine this music. Then open them and look at the Carpathian Album.


Ne Dva, transitions=infinite apriary
found objects and phenomena + interaction with the environment + photofixation + direct transfer forward
Yuriy Sokolov, For My Wife
mixed media

An archival album in which the artist assembled personal photos, documetation of his curatorila and artistic projects, texts, DIY-publications and other materials relevant to his conceptual practice. The album was a present to his wife on the occasion of their performative wedding in Switzerland. 

Yuriy Sokolov, Interviews
15.12.16 — 14.01.17
Галерея в "Домі Майстер Клас"