Conservation of Fog

The subject of fog, it rather employs the Far East tradition, which Mykola Zhuravel joined quite recently. I would be too easy to explain two his latest projects in the village of Mogrytsya only by influence of the Country of Rising Sun, however this fact is not to be totally denied. Finally it was the artist himself who said: “Being in Japan you understand Ukraine better”. Maybe the point is paradoxical interchange of some outlook phenomena pursuant to cultures in countries separated by thousands of kilometers. They have –

For more than a dzio

The spring haze is rising

Above the empty pedestal of Buddha.

(Matsuo Basyo)

The image of fog in classical Japanese lyrics is filled with ambivalent polysemy serving to attribute to it the meaning of spring portent – and sacral emptiness that accompanies atmosphere and emotions (as we see in the cited verse), association with love which is slipping away – and the waiting for a letter from an old friend. The fog is the most humaniform: the girl from Idzuno dying turns into its puffs (“The Crying of Kakinomoto Hitomo” from anthology “Mayosiu”). We have – a series of songs where fogs appear in their titles and then control the intonation of the compositions (“There, the Fog in Ravine”, “Oh, It’s Smoky, Smoky in the Field”, “Fog, Mother, It’s Foggy”).    

…In his “environment actions”, interwoven around the river of Psel, Zhuravel undoubtedly, though possibly unconscious as well, is guided by aesthetics of mono-avre (passion for something transitory and beautiful in the environment) but doesn’t forget about national matrix of conservation (in contemporary everyday life of peasants it is as important as harvesting or slaughtering of a pig), however he pushes off it towards poetical virtualization of the phenomenon. In one case – the matter left to waves as to the wind: blissful melancholy of separation (by the way, in Japanese lyrics it is connected to the appearing bird whose ornitonym composes the author’s name), in the other – something piercingly imperceptible, like waves and wind – fog! – caught by fetters of matter, by iron roof of lid and glass walls of cage. Two mutually irreconcilable vectors meet in the field familiar to us. Because the sphere of its possible associations did not catch the only thing among the multitude of derivatives of the field: a drop. As the carrier of “gifts of art” (jars with grass and plaster statuettes, naturally of a certain form: about thirty of them Mykola gave to the stream… and on the bank village boys joyfully rode on horses behind him, as the author remembers) and the final product publicly exposed “in bondage” (this time on glass surfaces of similar jars as the guests of wholesale exposition in “Soviart” gallery could make sure themselves). 

Oleg Sydor-Gibelinda