IZOLYATSIYA foundation announced a public vote for a project of a temporary art intervention to be created at the former site of the Lenin monument in Kyiv within the project “Social Contract”. In total, 37 projects applied for competition. There are projects from 18 countries, including a number of European and American countries, Singapore and Mongolia. Among the finalists, there are four projects selected by the international jury. The public vote for the best project is open April 3–9 (for Kyiv residents only). “One project is already a leader (according to preliminary results of the vote). I do not mention its name, not to interfere into the voting process”, said Oleksandr Vynohradov, communication manager of IZOLYATSIYA foundation. “The winner project will be installed on the site of Lenin monument May 3–17,” he added. The project has already received approval of Kyiv State City Administration, only technical specifications of winner project need additional approval.
The installation aims to continue public discussion on decommunization and heritage of the Soviet past. “Formally, decommunization is over, but there is still a certain tension in the society and conflicts related to this issue. This project is important not only for ordinary people who have various opinions on the issue, but also officials who decide which commemorative objects are to be installed in the public space of the city,” noted Yevhenia Moliar, expert in arts, member of the international jury of the project “Social Contract 2017”, member of Art Section of the Architecture Council at Architecture & City Construction Department of Kyiv City State Administration.
The first project, “De Pedestal”, was created by “Afterall” art duet from Italy, brother and sister Enso and Silvia Esposito. They focused on the symbolic potential of the pedestal of former monument to Lenin. A wooded “wreck”, modeling the shape of the empty pedestal, will be placed horizontally next to the original pedestal as a symbol of the fall of the idol.
The second project, “I Need a Hero” by Milena Vučković from Serbia, is a powerful searchlight, rotating and lightning the objects around in a symbolic search for a future hero. The artist emphasizes lack of easy and clear solutions, and the need to see things in different light. This project has several references to the first installation by Cynthia Gutierrez. “It is also about the comical aspect of the search for ‘a hero’. It is a good question whether we really need another hero to be commemorated on this place, another idol for this pedestal,” noted Yevhenia Moliar.
The third project is “Ritual of Self-Nature” by Isa Carillo from Mexico. She offers to cover the empty pedestals with rosemary to transform it into an “antidepressant” and healer of wounds. The additional part of the project is a number of open public meditations, known in Sanskrit as shamata, in which the attention is focused on the breathing.
The fourth project is the installation by Ukrainian artist Mykyta Shalenyi “Heroes Do Not Exist”. From both sides of the pedestal, two rows of shelves will be placed for storing plasterboard tabula. Everyone can write on them with chalk something he or she wants to forget and with coal something worth remembering. These tabula will be stored on the shelves as a record of thoughts and wishes of the people. The slogan of installation is “Against idols, against ideology; for information, history, memory and knowledge”. According to Yevheniia Moliar, this is a good opportunity for impartial reflection on the Soviet past. For instance, condemnation of crimes of totalitarian regime does not mean that the society must forget positive changes of that period, achievement of scientists and artists who worked in Soviet time, as well as visa verse.
This will be the third installation on the site of Lenin monument. During 2016, there were temporary installations “Inhabiting Shadows” by a Mexican artist Cynthia Gutierrez and “Endless Celebration” by Iranian artist Mahmoud Bakhshi. The next installation will take place in autumn 2017. “We would like to expand the geography of the project and to organize similar projects in other cities. We thought about Dnipro and Odesa, but there are no clear plans at the moment,” Vynohradov noted.