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4°3: a ritual dance Ukraine

Artist Blog by Lesia Maruschak

Ukraine Latittude 48.3412° N/Longtitude 28.1200° E June 2023

The Ukraine segment of 4°3: a ritual dance was created in the village of Busha, a geological monument of nature containing traces of Scythian cultures dating to 4800-3000 BC. The visual inspiration for this performance came from the black and white photo paintings I created for the project, one of which was selected for the Guest Room with David Campany.

In Busha, the MON performers appeared in black. Using paper, brushes, black paint and artistic gestures, they depicted three states of a child's experience in the context of a traumatic historical event.

The first is the past:

WE. Free existence, childlike openness, unity. WE get to know the living together. WE complement each other. WE write the scroll freely. The earth is a riot of life and its diversity.

The second is an event:

WE divided into I and THEM. THEY print the verbs. Actions are repeated and repeated. Actions exist today, and today still holds. The earth separates, devastates. Action uproots what I have and replaces it with something else.

The third state is the future:

THEY disappear. The self lays the foundation of life amid consequences and limitations. Land becomes an inheritance.

The Canadian and Ukraine segments of 4°3: a ritual dance will soon be released as an art film titled Black Sun, Shine On!

My research-based project started with a handful of archival photographs and some online links. In the end, the narrative they birthed crossed continents and genres. The reinterpreted photographs played a role in land-based performances, engaging independently with the environment, free from the glazed position of being nailed to a wall.

I would like to thank Der Greif for featuring this project and for its selection as part of Guest Room with David Campany. I also like to acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, without which this project would never have seen the light of day.