Artist talk: Olia Fedorova 

8. 11. 2023 from 17:00

Part of the lecture Facing the Art on Faculty of art and design UJEP, lecture room n. 537!

Presenting the work of artist Olia Fedorova (UA) as a part of the artist residencies for the project, Gardening of Soul: In Five Chapters.

I work with meanings and connotations by studying the mechanics and the issues of their (trans)formation through performative intervention practices, observation, and writing.

My work is focused on research and interaction with the environment being a semantic space. There, I look for and unveil the gaps – points of uncertainty and “volatility” of a language, its misunderstandings, and miscommunications. Gently interfering with the space, I observe how it welcomes my presence (or not) and how it changes because of it, how the perception of this space is changed due to my actions. My own body or the temporary objects that I place inside become, therefore, triggers for the meaning formation, and couriers for interpretations and connections between the space and a viewer.

Apart from this, I engage in writing as a physical, meditative and (self) therapeutic practice. Through writing I seek to fill meaningful voids, speaking out where it is a common practice to remain silent. When writing about what worries or upsets me, when sharing my personal fears and doubts, I encourage other people to break their own silence and start communicating.

After 24.02.2022 when Russia launched a full-scale war against Ukraine, I had to re-focus my practice so that I could contribute to the informational and cultural resistance of my country. Writing in forms of (visual) poetry and journalism became my main art activity. I’ve been using words as a weapon, powered with the energy of love and rage, against modern Russian colonialism, imperialism and dictatorship, against oppression of all kinds, to make Ukrainian voices loud and heard. At the same time, I am searching for new means and approaches in my work with the environments: both those changed by the war forever and peaceful ones but always reminiscent about the war in my homeland.

My aim is to create such an art about the war today, so that the next generations of Ukrainian artists won’t have to do it ever again.


This accompanying programme will be held in English.

Project GARDENING OF SOUL: IN FIVE CHAPTERS is funded by EEA and Norway grants 2014-2021. @eeaandnorwaygrants