So that no one would see / Аби ніхто не видів /2021
(by Lia Dostlieva & Andrii Dostliev)
Performance documentation: video (9:20 min), installation, photograph.
...it needs to be boiled alive in nine waters;
In the ninth it should be boiled until it boils completely.
Pick its bones into a bowl so that you can see them all;
And among them there would be one bone that would not be seen.
Burying the bones of a creature can be associated with a magical ritual, a burial, or a disposal of bio-waste.
Magic is often used as a juxtaposition to or a rebellion against the official knowledge, imposed power or political system. Those who possessed magical knowledge were either respected and praised or persecuted for this quality. The interpretation of Early Modern witch trials as punishment of women for displaying their own agency is present in all three waves of feminism. The Maji Maji Rebellion against German colonial power that broke off in present-day Tanzania in 1905 and lasted for several years was characterised by the rebels’ belief in a certain magical rite that made them invulnerable to the colonisers’ weapons. In 1968, members of independent feminist groups called Women's International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell (W.I.T.C.H.) flocked to the Financial District and chanted "Wall Street, Wall Street, up against the Wall Street" to hex the engine of capitalism. But at the same time, magical thinking is also the moving force behind the anti-vaccine movements which are the cause of the rise in the numbers of disease victims.
Deconstruction of a skeleton to the bones is also a literal loss of from, a reduction of a structure to its primal elements, and — as such — its destruction. In Cambodia in the 70s, the Khmer rouge regime was attempting to build a utopian nation through the destruction of a previous one, a total reset of existing settings which resulted in the evacuation of the country's towns and cities, mass repressions, famine, and the death of up to 2 million people. Thus, bones become also the base, the underground level of building totalitarian repressive regimes and their attempts of constructing a new official knowledge.
This work was made for the exhibition 'Odkształcenie / Дэфармацыя / Unlearning' curated by Aleksei Borisionok, Raman Tratsiuk, and Vera Zalutskaya.