Opening – Friday, 30 October, 4 pm
The Trojan Horse legend, like any other ancient story, provides a wide range of interpretations. Until now many cultural phenomena, seriously or in jest, allude to the antiquity which appears to be a sort of the source, an origin of the further cycles of European history. The Trojan Horse, I believe, could be an interesting metaphor in the context of public art. First of all, literally, it was an example of ancient 'public art', an artifact of the specific mode of communication: ritualistic and mythological. The very same object was a conflicting and subversive point. After all, the Trojans had swallowed the bait by reading the sign formally in a correct way. The Greeks, in the meantime, had approached quite relativistically to the conventions of that day and put their own secret agenda in this gesture. As the matter of fact, the image of the Trojan Horse metaphorically reflects the present-day public art in general. Especially in the context of constantly revealing confrontation and stratification, whether we speak about 'Eastern' post-Soviet or 'Western' city of 'late capitalism'.
While not disavowing the grassroots initiatives, we must realize the existence of the prevailing populist top-down vector, when the institutions of political power and capital via cultural ones use such gestures to blur the apparent inequality or directly to pacify the nominal 'Trojans' with the nominal 'Horses'. It may be that no Hellenic warrior is popping up from such 'horse' in the night, however not always we face truly open and fair agenda behind.
The title of The Troješčyna Horse project refers simply to the homonymy of the ancient Troy and 'Troja' which is a slang word for Troješčyna, the infamous commuter town in Kyiv. This dormitory suburb, however, is perhaps the best example of the local ill-famed dysfunctional ghetto. The place which indeed requires certain solutions for the variety of the problems. And the place which inevitably would receive its portion of populism, and year after year faces the imitation of solving problems only.
The artistic and performative part of the project is the passage of the Troješčyna Horse over the bridge towards its destination. This image/action should trigger the activity around the object which has to turn into the anchor point of the specific camp and to discover its functional possibilities.
Project “Troješčyna Horse” is a part of a project “Mosaic of the city”, which is aimed at developing participatory strategies of art interactions with the city. It is an educational and practical program, which consists of a series of workshops in Kyiv, summer academy in Ruhr region (Germany) and an implementation of projects in Kyiv by participants of the program. “Mosaic of the city” is a project of CSM (Foundation Center for Contemporary Art) in partnership with Goethe-Institut Ukraine, and funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.