Aggressive Beekeeping

«Aggressive Beekeeping» is the part of «Bee-garden», a big project by Mykola Zhuravel. Logic oxymoron is already put into the title: in common mind «beekeeping» is a peaceful notion. The metaphor of a burnt and sawed hive beside an intact one, video images and photos that captured the destruction process (video: D. Mukhin, photos: I. Palamarchuk) were deeply substantial and at the same time aesthetically complete in form. Zhuravel shows the world of inverted perception where the word loses its meaning, notions have their substitutions, where instead of a personality and conscious attitude there is a filtered flow of illusions, ready-made conclusions as though they relieve of personal responsibility.

The bee-keeper, maybe the only example of attentive cooperation between the man and nature, in this project plays the role of an aggressive creature. All tools for his peaceful work turn into a kind of weapons. Violence instead of care, fire instead of warmth, destruction instead of construction. Clothes turn into a uniform, specific features disappear creating an image of a pressed creature which destroys the nature, its own house and its labour.

For M. Zhuravel a hive is an image of temple. The honey, as sacral symbol alongside gold and light, embodies qualities of the highest, heavenly grade. By its presence on Earth it affirms the levels which should be attained. Destroying the temple we lose spiritual references and values. We lose understanding of value of a single human life. Maybe that is why the colour of honey on plotting boards introduced into installation becomes a yellow colour of mass media, with honeycombs cloning thoughtless creatures having no stands. The art gives no undoubted answers about the bad and good, it stirs and makes think. The burnt hive became an interrogation mark inviting every not indifferent person to find his or her interpretation and attitude towards the dialogue between the man and the world.

Àndriy Gurenko