Accurately as it was scheduled by the Lviv Month general programme, the first April Thursday started the every-Thursday Ukrainian performance art presentations. After the first performance by Kostiantyn Zorkin at the inauguration ceremony, on the 7thof April five performers presented their works, i.e. Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach, Pavlo Kovach Junior, Oleksandr Maksymov and Yaryna Shumska. The next performance art series will take place on 14 April.
The performance by Yuriy Biley was the first, and it was presented just at the main entrance of the building, hosting the Ukrainian Cross-Section exhibition. Every visitor who wanted to enterthe building,had to become a participant of the performance: to say hello to the artist, to take his gift (a small flat stone), to tell his/her name and write it down on a stone. After personal acquaintance with each guest (there were many of them) Yuriy gathered all of them around his khaki shirt (a few minutes ago taken off his body). He decorated it with the rest of stones, and invited the audience to join him, putting their‘named’stones on the canvas. So, in co- they created a camouflage pattern of the names of those present.
The venue for Oleksandr Maksymov’s performance The Mirror was the back yard of the building, an empty concreteground, surrounded by rubbish bins. It was the long, exhausting action where the performerwas testing himself on physical level and the audience –emotionally, with no one second for a sigh of relief. Mirror, ablack flag and a white flag, which was turned into a rag to wash the floor, and an old radio, distributing through white noise the Radio Maria... Probably, the longest of all other, Maksymov’s performance has produced a considerable impression on the audience.
Pavlo Kovach junior was laconic and ultimately direct. His postulation of a performance as an act of performance can be interpreted both as sarcasm on contemporary art (sometimes it is too theoretical) and as an absolute self-irony (because the artist uses the same practice that is criticised by him).
Instead, Pavlo Kovach Sr. offered the audience Silence of the Sphinx - bitter banter, a little of steampunk and testing by calmness. Imperturbable, big and even formidable, with dark glasses and a white robe, Kovach sat at the white table and calmly observed the audience. The last one came to a standstill to the accompaniment of annoying buzz of the old TV set. Then he turned on the more annoying, almost horror pink electronic little dog. Resembling a crazy electrician, surrounded by terrible wires, Mr Kovach has captured the audience completely, he forced all visitors to wait in tremor either the explosion of old electricity, or the attack of a little pink monster.
Yaryna Shumska , the only woman included in the 7 April performance programme , positioned herself so naturally within the space of the exhibition, that she has become a truly living ingredient of the Ukrainian Cross-Section. The performance Circulation, very feminine, ritual while minimalist, was based on a circle in a space, and the geometry of artist’s movements. The black dress, white flour, sifted through the hem of a dress, a dough lump as the center of the universe, around which circle by circle exhaustively walks a woman – at last to escape that ritual circle and run up the stairs.
Performance Programme: on Thursdays, at 6 pm. Details on venues: gallery reception, 25 Market Sq., Wroclaw.