On February 6, 2020,IZOLYATSIA foundation in collaboration with “Babyn Yar” Holocaust Memorial Centre present the installation of French artist Olga Kisseleva. The installation is devoted to the tragedy of Babyn Yar.
How to work with the memory of dreadful tragedy, which swept through many different European countries and left its trace in Ukraine? Is it worth “throwing” a person in the past, to create the conditions for the contemporary person to feel him/herself in 1941? Or will it be a lie? Olga Kisseleva works with the past, not merely reproducing it. This is an act of hope and a look into the future.
The Babyn Yar territory is covered with trees, appearing as the guardians of memory. They rise out of the ground (from the past), something that must not be forgotten. Their branches are silent witnesses of history. The tree is alive — a potent symbol of the continuation of life. The Memory Garden project listens to the Babyn Yar trees, feeling the metaphor of the tree as a vessel of time, which moves the knowledge from past (the ground) to the living limbs. Hope is found not in oblivion, but in a working through hard experience. The memory is the message for the future — about saving the human from the inhuman world.
It is impossible for humans to listen to the voice of the tree, yet technology allows us to “listen.” Kisseleva’s installation presents us the visualization of the tree’s “voice”: the installation is the graphic representation of inner movements inside trunks.
The artist and researcher bases her work on the hypothesis that, with the help of molecular dispersion, all plants have the opportunity to share information inside their environs. Kisseleva brings this encrypted communication into the open. In collaboration with researcher Christof Petio, she investigates the possibilities of decoding the trees’ language. This leads us to the deepening, saving and sharing of knowledge about the tragic events.
The Memory Garden project contains the public program which is prepared by Memory Lab — the experimental department of the “Babyn Yar” Holocaust Memorial Center. The program consists of a series of public discussions on the contemporary instruments of commemoration, particularly those which can be aided by art and technologies.
Installation is prepared in collaboration with Sorbonne University and the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Curatorial team: Oksana Dovgopolova, Kateryna Semenyuk, Yana Barinova, Kateryna Filyuk.
Project is realized with the support of the Embassy of France in Ukraine and French Institute in Ukraine.
*Olga Kisseleva is one of the key figures in international art&science movement and professor at Sorbonne University.
In 1995 Kisseleva appeared the member of High Institute of Visual Arts of Pompidou Center, where launched the common theoretic-artistic research. She actively uses the media technologies in her practices. Olga Kisseleva’s works are present in many of the world’s most important museum, including, the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma (Helsinki), MoMA (New York), and the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao), amongst others.