In Memory of Civilizations That Didn’t Exist *

25 October 2019 • Anton Usanov

Exploration of the 90s non-formal art in Poltava stumbles upon the dangerous mythology traps all the time. Collection of sources turns out as a fixation of ambiguous and variable stories retelling about the artworks and events you simply can’t experience or revise now. Most documents and works were lost not only because of a series of coincidences and artists’ indifference to their own traces but also because of the intended focus on procedurality, eventuality, and deliberate neglect of the object. As the result, artworks that were sold to an unknown location, painted over, lost, and destroyed naturally transit to another mode of existence. They take the form of stories and memories now, a folklore of sorts. But no story can be heard twice. Specific relationships, together with the logic of stories transformation and the dynamic of the flow, appear in this ideal folklore space of the artwork’s post-mortem existence.

* In Memory of Civilizations That Didn’t Exist is a title of a lost series of works by Yuri Golovnia.

Two audio tracks record several moments of the flow. The first track develops a storyline about Chaka (Aleksei Martynov) and his work with Indians. The second track dissolves this small local watercourse in the worldwide ocean of bygone artworks (the reading follows the novel The Missing Pieces by Henri Lefebvre).


Image: "In Memory of Civilizations That Didn’t Exist " - series of 12 works 12 by Yuri Golovnia (only one work was preserved).