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President of Crimea.

Photo documentation of the process of creating and installation of President of Crimea sculptural installation.

President of Crimea
During solo exhibition My Body is a Battlefiled.2 at the Jøssingfjord Vitenmuseum in Norway, 2023
President of Crimea
During exhibition at Accelerator Museum, Stockholm, Sweden, 2022.
"My sculptures are myself – or rather, my-selves. They are casts from my own body, but no two are the same. Each one occupies a different place, and each one bears within it a different charge. To bear means to carry or uphold; but it also means to go towards a certain goal or destination. A boat, carrying its cargo, is said to move on a 'bearing'; and we also talk of a woman or a man having a certain 'bearing' in the way that she or he carries herself/himself, as perhaps with determination or dignity in deportment. So, even though they each stand still, my sculptural figures display the bearings of own outward and inward experiences as I have moved through a changeable world, often marked by violent events. And yet they bear these serenely, despite all that they have gone through and all that has gone through them.

To those maidens who bore up their temples the Greeks gave the name 'caryatids'; my sculptural figures, too, may be so called; but as caryatids who bear witness and testimony to ruined space and ravaged times around them. And well might we call them so, for me as an architect; and if I turn from building to body it is only towards a more primal core to the world we extend around us. That core in architecture was the column, modeled on figures of men and women in Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders that were iterated and arranged to mark and watch over all our relations in space. Like coins, letters, seals and imprints, a column can both distribute general rule yet also affirm an original motive in its motif, admitting in each iteration some leeway for variation, leeway that shows the scope of freedom.

Casts, too, can display this scope. Casts are 3D prints, and like prints, casts are not always identical. Etchings vary within editions, and Andy Warhol's ways with silk-screens ensured that, though repeated like the media icons that they hijacked, no two Marilyns or Jackies from his 'Factory' were ever the same. Likewise, numbers, flags, hand and skull-prints recur through Jasper Johns' works, but vary continually. Cindy Sherman is a mistress of variation; she poses alter-egos of herself in guises that never quite disguise their posing. My soap, epoxy, sugar, wax, and now cast-iron figures share something with each of these, but differ from them in two important ways.

Firstly, they are not at all 'cool'. They are far from the ironies of post-Pop Art. Their repetitions are not of media clichés, but primal iterations of "I am...", cast in varying materials and colors through a series of immediate responses to existential moments of experience. In this, they are kin to Louise Bourgeois figures. They confront and challenge us not to identify our own selves with them; their call to bodily empathy can scarcely be declined.

A second distinction of my figures is that they stand not alone in my works, but mark - as columns do - definite poles around which all my other actions swirl, sometimes with demonic energy in political anger, sometimes with passionate self-searching, as in my performance with the bell-tower of the iron-cast bells "President of Crimea, since 19th of March 2014"'; but also – in my watercolors on the papers received from migration offices – in dancing flares of ecstatic freedom. My watercolors, like my soap pillar with the cast-iron cast inside "Little Mermaid", float loose, unbound from borders, all bearings open upon a future sea of freedom".