The Ukrainian Institute of America was pleased to announce an installation by Waldemart Klyuzko, HOME EAST, that was on view from May 9 -11, 2015. Organized in collaboration with Yara Arts Group, this site-specific piece featured the covering of the windows of the Ukrainian Institute building on 79th Street and Fifth Avenue with red and white tape. Red and white tape is widely used to warn people of a hazard or emergency. In HOME EAST, red and white tape drew attention to the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which has become a war-ravaged zone that over one million people have been forced to flee.
“Home is where the heart lives — a dream we construct all our lives. But our home in the East has become a dangerous place,” according to the artist statement.
The covering of the windows of the home of the Ukrainian Institute with the international sign of warning drew the attention of New Yorkers to the continuing escalation of the crisis and war in the east of Ukraine. From the outside during the day, New Yorkers saw the windows as they were covered with red and white tape interwoven by the artist. The lights were turned on inside the Ukrainian Institute for three nights from 9:00 -11:00 PM, backlighting the covered windows to create a “stained glass” effect. This light symbolized the ray of hope that the war will end and people will be able to return to their homes.
May 9th is celebrated annually as the end of World War II in Europe. This year it was also the opening date of the Venice Biennale, one of the most important events in the art world. By opening on this day the Ukrainian Institute announced its support for Ukraine, Ukrainian art and the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Biennale.
Waldemart Klyuzko is an artist, photographer and videographer from Kyiv and a resident designer with Yara Arts Group in New York. He designed Yara’s “Underground Dreams” which was performed in Donetsk (2013) and in Kyiv (2014). Last summer, his “We Are All Ukraine,” an exhibit of protest posters in support of the demonstrations in Kyiv and photographic art inspired by the events in Ukraine, was shown at The Ukrainian Museum, New York. Last September his architectural installation “Dim” (Home), also using red and white tape, was presented at GogolFest International Contemporary Arts Festival in Kyiv.
Yara Arts Group is a resident company at La MaMa, the acclaimed experimental theater in New York. Since 1990 Yara has created thirty two theatre pieces based on extensive research in Eastern Europe, Siberia and Asia. Yara has created twenty major events at the Ukrainian Institute of America. Yara has worked with Waldemart Klyuzko since 2010, most recently on our theatre pieces with Serhiy Zhadan about the crisis in Donetsk. Translations of Mr. Zhadan’s poetry by Yara’s Virlana Tkacz and Wanda Phipps are part of the Ukrainian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year. www.brama.com/yara
The Ukrainian Institute of America is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art, music and literature of Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora. It serves both as a center for the Ukrainian-American community and as America’s “Window on Ukraine,” hosting art exhibits, concerts, film screenings, poetry readings, literary evenings, children’s programs and educational programs, all open to the public. Founded in 1948 by inventor William Dzus, the Ukrainian Institute is permanently housed in the historic Fletcher-Sinclair mansion. ukrainianinstitute.org
The installation remained on view through 11pm Monday May 11, at the Ukrainian Institute of America, located at 2 East 79th Street at Fifth Avenue in New York.