Residency of Helen Anna Flanagan resulted in artistic work Blood Sweat Tears. The artist discloses the topic of Sport as a spectacle that serves the primary social function that theatre did in antiquity. Accounts of heroism and sacrifice tell a story of the founding of the state, a narrative of glorious origin that often obscures trauma.
Blood Sweat Tears is a film that focuses on this trauma (emotional, physical, historical) of the individual/collective body and the modern therapeutic processes (self-help groups, massage, exercise) that have been used to help to overcome such trauma. The work focuses specifically on what is exorcised from the body and mind, seeing the main character as someone who emits emotional (confessional and biographical) as well as physical (sweat and saliva) discharge.
The work Blood Sweat Tears is an artistic investigation into the cult of the disciplined athletic body in Soviet visual culture. A monumental soviet mural in the interior of the National University of Physical Education and Sport in Kyiv loosely influenced the fictional script and serves as the backdrop to the film.
Helen Flanagan’s work was also presented in the framework of group exhibition of the SWAP UK/Ukraine residencies participants — Вразливий стан / Fragile State. The exhibition took place in The Museum of Odessa Modern Art from February 22 to March 31, 2019. Curators: Lina Romanukha, Ilya Zabolotnyi.