Ukraine - Under Construction
a Tribute to the Revolution' Kiev, 2004/2005Installation artist Iris Honderdos and sound-artist Arno Peeters from the Netherlands were inspired by the images they saw on Dutch national television of the people standing up for their rights on Maydan Square, holding position until democracy will finally be theirs. They decided to travel to Kiev, to witness this moment and see how they could support the people and their revolution in an artistic way.
They have spend two weeks talking to people, interviewing and recording them, asking about their hopes for the future. Not only did they meet with the Orange campers on the Khreshchatyk, but also with Yanukovich-supporters, PORA-demonstrators and independent observers. Arno Peeters and Iris Honderdos translated their impressions and their admiration for the strong longings for freedom and democracy into the artwork "Ukraine - Under Construction", as a tribute to the Revolution.
It can be seen as a monument for everyone involved in this Revolution: Blue or Orange. In the end, all people of Ukraine will have to live and work together as one nation.
The installation is build around one of the oil-drums (used for heating in the tent camp on Khreshchatyk) as a symbol of the revolution. Inspired by the beautiful golden roofing's on the towers of Kiev, the oil drum is carried by metal arcs with woven metal wires, consisting of words in Ukraine and in Russian. Those words are the answers to the question: "What is most important for you in the future?" This question was asked to many different people in the streets of Kiev and the answers show that in fact everyone, beyond political differences, is longing for the same things. Further on, visitors of the artwork are asked to complete the installation by writings words on paper about matters from the past they would like to leave behind. Those papers are made to stopples and thrown inside the cupola below the oil-drum. Those stopples can be seen as the fuel of the revolution. The light in the middle shines on the words of hope, casting their shadows on the walls around.
Like the pounding protest of drumming on oil-drums in front of the parliament, this oil drum also produces it's own sound, recorded and transformed into a rhythm, like the heartbeat of the revolution. A big loudspeaker is hanging over the installation as a swing, driven by a motor. It represents the public opinion, the church and the media, swinging from side to side. Sometimes calling, sometimes offending, sometimes humorous. In the high comers of the space, small loudspeakers re-create the atmospheres of the Maydan: speeches, crowds, singing and discussing. But sometimes words can be heard of children, talking about their hopes for the future or the fear of a divided country. And than there are words by Babushka's. Their wisdom can also be found in the streets surrounding the Maydan, but is vital for the young and impatient nation of Ukraine.
Arno Peeters and Iris Honderdos, January 2005