by Daria KravchukSep 12, 2022
Since its inception, art has been like a large mirror that reflects socio-economic and political conditions, and throughout its time most artists have considered it their moral duty to bring forth the truth to the general public. When the worldly situation tends to destabilise, art becomes a saviour. Artists express their thoughts, questions, beliefs through artistic interventions. They stage their art performances setting a foot outside the walls of the art world to alter conditions that they don’t deem fit for the people. These performances can be artists showcasing their old or latest works in sync with the message they are trying to convey to the general public against an occurrence which doesn’t comply with the society’s beliefs or norms.
With the Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin’s fully-fledged order to attack Ukraine, by air, land and sea, the world leaders commence talks to avoid the major disruption. Russia apprises of ‘legal repercussions’ over the anti-war activities, but protests continue all over the world. Internationally renowned Ukrainian-Russian artist, Aljoscha, created an artistic anti-war intervention during his recent stay in Kyiv, Ukraine from February 21-23, 2022. This took place in front of The Motherland Monument in the Ukrainian capital, a day before the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, that smeared an escalation to a dispute between the two countries that occurred in 2014.
The visual artist, in terms of artistic intervention stands naked, without any protection from the war troops, in front of the Motherland Monument in Kyiv, holding pink forms in the air with his wrists crossed that relate to his visual art practice. Aljoscha terms the pink forms as bios, which he defines as an idea of extending life to non-living beings which constructs new forms of life. The Ukrainian artist’s practice revolves around conceptual installations and sculptural art based on bioism, biofuturism and bioethical abolitionism.
In the artists' own words on the intervention, he states, “Bioism condemns any violence against humans, animals and plants. The suffering and war must be stopped! There are no justified conflicts, all of them are criminal, causing violence and pain to all kinds of biological beings. Any kind of human ideology is violent per se: as for instance blood thirsty motherland requires endless human sacrifices. Pacifism shall be extended to the peace and eudaimonia movement for all beings of this planet. As an European artist of Ukrainian-Russian origin, I stood naked and unprotected as animals and plants are in the silent protest against any kind of ideological madness. Stop insanity, seek for kindness!”
The artist’s cultural stance through his prominent sculptural art might become an essential part of the history of Russian-Ukraine relations. The contemporary artist is known for his sculptural works and artistic interventions. He had such interventions in the form of installations earlier in Spain, Greece, Kenya, New York, Grenadines, Italy, Germany, Russia and many more. Through Bioism/ Biofuturism, the artist represents his attempt to create a new living form and a new aesthetics of future organic life. Bioism is a way to develop art objects which express visual possibilities of synthetical biology as stated by the artist. For Aljoscha, it’s an effort to produce art based on vitality, multiplicity and complexity, as he regards each of his works as living beings extending life to lifeless subjects.
(Text by Vatsala Sethi, Assistant Editorial Coordinator (Arts))