OPEN GROUP (Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach, Anton Varga)
REPEAT AFTER ME
Realized: 25.11.2022 - 12.02.2023
Open Group (Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach and Anton Varga)
curator: Waldemar Tatarczuk
Labirynt gallery, Lublin, Poland
A few weeks before Russia’s full-scale invasion, the State Emergency Service of Ukraine began distributing a multi-page handbook on how to behave in the area where military actions are happening. The order and type of action severely depend on whether the attack is assault rifle fire, artillery shelling, multiple rocket launcher shelling, or even aerial bombardment. Very often, the only way to distinguish the type of fire is to determine different weapon types by sound.
In the work “Repeat After Me” we see refugees from the East of Ukraine who, fleeing the threat of war, found shelter in a temporary camp in Lviv. They share their experience of the sounds of war. Reproducing various types of weapons, they conduct a kind of karaoke instruction, which, while transmitting simple sound sequences, is still unable to convey the experience that exists nearby, the experience that has become the price for this knowledge. This skill speaks about the new reality in which Ukrainians currently live.
“From the moment we hear the first air raid siren, our ‘internal alarm’ is on alert. It keeps us in constant tension and makes us listen to every sound, every rustle. Sometimes suspicion creeps in even in silence.”
The video work “Repeat After Me” was created thanks to the involvement of refugees staying in Lviv. These were: Alla, Antonina, Borys, Ekaterina, Iryna, Olena, Svitlana, and Yuriy. We thank them for their trust and participation in the project.