АКТИ ВІДЧАЮ/ THE DESPERATE TONE IS AN ACT
a r t i s t s → Katya Buchatska, Clemens Poole c u r a t o r s → Wilson Alex Fisher, Anna Potyomkina
On Sunday, June 21st, Katya Buchatska and Clemens Poole’s Aкти Bідчаю / The Desperate Tone is an Act opened in an unmarked stretch of forest at the edge of a sloping pasture above Babyn village in Ukraine’s Kosiv Region. Coinciding with the Summer Solstice, the collaborative off-site exhibition is curated by Anna Potyomkina and Wilson Alex Fisher and is presented within the framework of a residency at Khata-Maysternya facilitated by Insha Osvita and Asortymentna Kimnata.
Aкти Bідчаю / The Desperate Tone is an Act starts with a trailhead jointly created by Buchatska and Poole. Inside the trailhead are three shelves. Three spools of thread are stacked on the bottom shelf—two blue and one orange, each of varying thickness and durability. On the middle shelf sits half a loaf of bread that is well past its expiration date. The top shelf is smaller in stature, and is conspicuously empty. Presumably, this is where a map should be. No such luck.
In lieu of a map, direction comes in the form of a red arrow on the top of the trailhead. This arrow represents the first of Buchatska’s contributions to the exhibition.
Buchatska’s arrows lead exhibition goers on a two-pluskilometer bushwhacking way through moss, fog, rain, downed trees, and the odd nettle. Painted on wet wood, the blazes seep and drip, begetting and obliging achallenge-courting sentiment. Motion is motive. And motion is emotive. After starting, there is no going back. If a tree falls in the forest with no one to hear it, it bleeds. Still Blood Runs Deep. And it takes a long time to coagulate.
Punctuating the arrows at varying intervals and orientations are a number of phrases written by Poole on stumps, stones, and trunks. Done in English with oil pastels, the fragmented texts are addressed to you: it gets worse as you get older and you don’t have the courage to be your own person, to name a few. Me; no me. We; no we. Poole knows you have something to prove. To whom? To what? You who hike focusing forward won’t have any explaining to do; the phrases will lick your mud-slicked boots.
Aкти Bідчаю / The Desperate Tone is an Act is open indefinitely, yet continuously devolves in the artists’ 11 and curators’ absence. Sometime between the solstice and the first of August, the trailhead was burned by unknown arsonists. The fragments that remain have been relocated to Ivano-Frankivsk for further inspection.
In lieu of the trailhead’s prompt, the beginning has no Beginning.