In a small town located in the French department Hautes-Pyrénées near Tarbes, the Russian conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin has created an interactive installation “Putin filled with Ukrainian blood”, made out of blood from voluntary Ukrainian donors, and aimed at denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. He hosts a family of Ukrainian refugees reunited temporarily. Sacha* the Ukrainian husband says that soon he too will go to help his country to defend itself again Russian aggression. And indeed, Sacha has since gone back to Ukraine. Continue...
In a small town located in the French department Hautes-Pyrénées near Tarbes, the Russian conceptual artist Andrei Molodkin is watching at home on his computer screen a video of his interactive installation “Putin filled with Ukrainian blood”. The artwork shows in real time the growing number of casualties from the war in Ukraine to the rhythmic sound of a beating heart. Beside him, Russian and Ukrainian children look anxiously at Putin’s bloody portrait. The plexiglass work with Putin’s image denounces the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Exhibited in London and then in Slovenian capital, the artwork is made out of blood from voluntary Ukrainian donors. Among the donors is Sacha, a collaborator and friend of the artist who was in France at Andrei’s experimental art centre, the Foundry, before the war broke out in Ukraine. After the beginning of Russian invasion of his country, Sacha repatriated his wife and his two children from Ukraine to the Foundry. For a few weeks, the reunited Ukrainian family tried to live again a sense of normalcy, thanks to the generosity of this amazing Russian artist and his family. For Andrei, forever marked by his military service in the Soviet army, art means above all political commitment and not a mere entertainment. His artworks are made up of evocative Russian words meaning for instance « don’t give a shit » or “ahead’. They are not to be seen but to be comprehended. They stand alongside figurative works by the artist Andres Serrano, who has denounced torture and war in photographic staging. Andrei’s Russian son and Sasha’s two Ukrainian boys are playing at scaring each other, like any other children living outside the torments of war. Every day, Sacha’s* young Ukrainian wife makes sure her boys don’t miss the class, including the writing class, which is taught remotely from Ukraine by video conference. One evening, Sasha and his wife are preparing a borscht for Andrei’s family, both a traditional Ukrainian and Russian dish. Other Ukrainian and Belarusian friends are invited to the meal. But it is not time for celebration. Sasha* is looking worriedly on his mobile phone at latest news from the frontline. He says that soon he too will go to help his country to defend itself against Russian aggression. And indeed, Sacha has since gone back to Ukraine.
*First name has been changed.
A story created in April 2022