6 May 2015—9 June 2015
#onvacation is a guerrilla art initiative. The project was active during the first month (May 6, 2015–June 9, 2015) of the 56th Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennial. IZOLYATSIA produced over a thousand military jackets bearing the "#onvacation" logo and distributed them freely to biennial visitors, asking them to take selfies in the pavilions of "occupying powers of their choice." By posting the hash-tagged selfies to social media, participants were automatically entered into a lottery to win a real vacation to occupied Crimea.
The action was meant as a direct reference to the Russian denial of the military involvement in the occupation of Ukrainian Crimea in 2014, during which Russian soldiers were described as being "on vacation." Similar forces are also implicated in the ongoing conflict in the Donbas region of Eastern Ukraine. As of June 9th 2014 the occupation includes the territory of IZOLYATSIA foundation, seized as a depot for Russian “humanitarian aid.” The art center has been transformed into a weapons depot, military training base, as well as a prison and place of execution.
IZOLYATSIA. Platform for Cultural Initiatives recognizes the common root of the occupation of Crimea and the occupation of Donbas, and so dedicated its Venetian intervention to the occupied peninsula. #onvacation sought to comment on both occupation and the contemporary mediated understanding of military situations. By using social media and public involvement, this action presents itself as an alternative to the static structure of the Biennale Pavilions.
The project received a huge response in the media. Within a few days, the world's leading media outlets such as The Guardian, The New York Times, BBC, and major art journals had run coverage of #onvacation.
Although a winner was selected on June 9, 2015, her vacation remains unconfirmed.