Casi Desnudo (“Almost Naked”), the film about the Ukrainian-American avant-garde writer Yuriy Tarnawsky by Oleksandr Fraze-Frazenko had its world premiere at the Ukrainian Institute of America on March 8, 2019.
Yuriy Tarnawsky is a bilingual Ukrainian/English author of some three dozen books. His Ukrainian language books include two volumes of collected poetry Poems About Nothing and Other Poems on the Same Subject and They Don’t Exist, a hexalogy of plays patterned on Greek tragedy 6×0, a book of selected prose I don’t Know, and a book of selected essays Flowers for the Patient. His English language books include the novels Meningitis, Three Blondes and Death, The Placebo Effect Trilogy, Warm Arctic Nights, and The Iguanas of Heat, the collections of short fictions Short Tails and Crocodile Smiles, a book of Heuristic Poetry Modus Tollens/Improvised Poetic Devices, a collection of selected essays and interviews Claim to Oblivion, and a book of literary exercises Literary Yoga. An engineer and linguist by training, he has worked as computer scientist at IBM Corporation and professor of Ukrainian literature and culture at Columbia University. For his contribution to Ukrainian literature he was awarded the order of merit of Prince Yaroslav the Wise by Ukrainian government. In March of 2019 he was inducted by New Jersey Institute of Technology, his alma mater, into its Hall of Fame.
Oleksandr Fraze-Frazenko is a filmmaker, poet, photographer, translator, musician, co-founder of the “OFF Laboratory” production studio. Born in Lviv, Ukraine, Oleksandr is known for his feature documentaries about Ukrainian artists and poets (Chubai in 2014, The House on Seven Winds in 2015, An Aquarium in the Sea in 2016, Mister Nobody in 2017). His oeuvre includes several hundred films and videos. He is also involved in producing commercial advertising and music videos. His first feature film Don’t Lie To Me was premiered in 2016 at Wiz-Art Lviv International Short Film Festival. Oleksandr has authored ten books of poetry; they are collected in the volume Decadence (2017). He is the first to have translated Jim Morrison’s poetry into Ukrainian and published it in 2013. He has also translated English poetry of the Restoration Period, including works of John Rochester. Oleksandr is a performing artist and plays improvisational music and indie-rock. His discography consists of more than 50 albums.