The five video projects authored by the five residents of the Coming Out of isolation 2.0 project were pitched on the 9th of March in the space of the creative community IZONE. As a result of this event, every one of the artists will receive a grant in the amount of 50,000 UAH to implement his or her idea.
The artist-in-residency programme, Coming Out of Isolation, is held for the second time within a joint project of the IZOLYATSIA Foundation and the public organization KyivPride. The aim of the project is the elimination of discrimination, xenophobia and prejudice towards members of the LGBT+ community in Ukraine.
Five artists have taken part in the residency this year. The participants are Yana Bachynska (Lviv), Yevhen Korschunov (Brovary), Vitaliy Havura (Kherson-Kyiv), Olena Siyatovska (Dnipro-Kyiv), and AntiGonna (Vinnytsia-Odesa). For five weeks, they developed the ideas for video projects covering various aspects of LGBT+ life.
“Our main criteria in the process of selecting the residency participants was their experience and approach to working with video as a medium.
We did not put any additional restrictions at the stage of filing applications that would address the previous appeal in the art practice to LGBT+ topics, since in this project we consider it important to speak from the perspective of protecting essential human rights, the diversity of identities and gender fluidity,” — comments Oleksandra Pogrebnyak, junior curator of IZOLYATSIA Foundation and programme coordinator of the Coming Out of Isolation 2.0 project.
Alina Kleitman worked with the participants as a mentor. She is one of the most prominent Ukrainian artists, winnning the second Special PinchukArtCentre Prize for her work “Super A. Shave Your Heart” in 2015 and the PinchukArtCentre Prize Audience Award for "Ask your mom" in 2018.
“All projects are going to be interesting, and I am pleased with their diversity. And although I know these video works from the very beginning, it remains difficult to imagine the way they will look — it depends on the aesthetics chosen by the authors,” — says the mentor of the project, artist Alina Kleitman.
Among the experts who took part in the discussion of the projects were: queer activist and programme coordinator of KyivPride Maryna Herz, programme coordinator of the Film Festival Molodist Bohdan Zhuk, curator of the IZOLYATSIA Foundation Kateryna Filyuk, and artist Mykola Ridnyi.
Video works pitching became a result of the first phase of Coming Out of Isolation 2.0.
“My project is a story about a group of eccentric friends who live in a common space. Their daily routine is audio hallucinations, which are messages from a future where a queer utopia has come.
These voices belong to experts who describe the coming reality from various positions and fields, such as: economics, architecture, motherhood, biochemistry, politics, literature and others.
Hallucinations cause a reaction that performers understand as a direct action to achieve an inclusive future and the viewer as an artistic gesture.
The visual aesthetics of the film are resolved in the canon of post-Soviet ‘admiration of decadence, which conflicts with the bright visions of the future by the characters,” — says artist Yana Bachynska.
Participant of the residence, artist Yevhen Korschunov says:
“I want to make a work in the genre of ‘the Cossack Gay-Burlesque,’ an important part of the picture is going to be the costumes created by the cult queer fashion designer Mikhail Koptev. In my film, I criticize the process when certain groups of people monopolize the right to use our cultural and historical assets and restrict others by reason of their sexual orientation and gender.”
The resident Olena Siyatovska is working on a documentary story about Michelle, a 20-year-old transgender girl:
“We are slowly immersing in the reality and life of the heroine, who moved to Kyiv from the village of Olesko in the Lviv region only a few months ago. Stories from school and student years periodically pop-up in memories, and interweaves closely with everyday reality.”
Film Director and screenwriter Vitaliy Havura works on a short film with the working title “Chacho”:
In the film, he explores the life of LGBT+ people in the Romani community. “This topic is under a taboo, they don’t talk about it, but there are such people, and they are struggling because the Romani people is extremely homophobic,”.
Filmmaker and artist AntiGonna (AntigonStaff) is working on a short 8-minute film with animated inserts called "Lucid skin":
"The hero of the film is an artist who redefines his identity. He practices self-harm, which he considers self-punishment for the "masculine" and "patriarchal." After a self-harm session (documented self-harming actions), he goes to a queer party in a woman’s dress and make-up, where he first plunges into the illusion of security and freedom, but finds himself firmly returned to the real world, and the fantasy of punishment that he pursues is finally embodied in life. And this is exactly the experience that becomes the basis for his real transformation.”
By the end of May, the participants of the residency will complete their video works, which will be presented publicly and shown in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine during the summer and autumn of 2020. They will also be included in the programmes of Gurtobus and KyivPride.
Coming Out of Isolation 2.0 is organized by the IZOLYATSIA Foundation and the public organization KyivPride with the support of Human Rights Fund 2019.