GO EAST blog

this blog follows the road movie research of estonian performance artist katrin essenson and swiss performance artist matthias ruettimann across the former states of the sovjet union. mai - july 2016   

collaborative remake in Odessa museum of fine arts

Image Potemkin revolution

The battleship Potemkin's rebellious seamen carrying ashore the body of Vakulenchyk with support by a Swiss traveler. A collaborative art piece by L.O.Muchnik and Mirko, oil on canvas and body, 1949, 1957, 2016.

evaporating splendour

odessa, this big lady on the Black Sea shore, is laying in her magnificent splendour and each breath is accompanied by a sigh, oh old times where are you, why you have left me, on which ship you sailed away, with whom you betray me far far away. She sighs and sinks deeper in her stoney bed, soon soon you will be only a mountain left under the endless sky of eternity. When night falls the lunapark flickers and quivers and pretend in a nervous outbreak of nostalgia that live will go on, yes yes we will never die believe me, ferris wheel turns and turns, the man on the engine has got drunken and will fall asleep, and we will turn and cut the smooth warm coat of the night on and on.

crossing borders

Zhmerinka subway 20062016

The train runs. An old Moldavian train from the last century, at least your age, bedsheets stiff and threadbare, washed by the sweat of bolshevik travelers. Anatoly, an Ukrainian born 50 year old engineer, who works for Jamal, a Russian airline, is on the way back home to visit his mother who lives on a rent of 1500 griwnas, approximately 60 Swiss francs a month. The afternoon dies in the birch woods under a sleepy sky. Anatoly has brought some bottles of beer. Ukrainian beer, he underlines and fills up the cups. The train rocks you over the railroads on his punky ride from Moscow to Chisinâu. Anatoly shows picture of his hometown, the flowers in the garden of his mother, the lake, mushrooms in the woods, the summerhouse in winter, the cats and a dog. I don't know, he says, perhaps Putin wants  only the best for Russia, but the circumstances are very difficult, he has to deal with all these oligarchs and the bandits and America. He takes a sip of the warm golden beer in the cardboard cup and smiles at you. He loves Russia and he loves Ukraine and he doesn't like this patriotic attitudes which divides people. The iron wheels hammer the railroad junctions. It's the sound of goodbye followed by a long big silence. In this silence steps the border control. You hand over your passport, he browses the pages, asks your migration card and checks your back bag. A one minute check, then you can leave Russia, then you are handed over to the Ukrainian border controls. Similar procedure with another cast in the same roles. This guy wants to know where are you going and you answer to Zhmerinka. To Zhmerinka? He pulls the eyebrows up looking at you. Is there something wrong about Zhmerinka you ask. No no, he laughs, Zhmerinka is fine, but nobody goes to Zhmerinka. Now you laugh as well, and Anatoly laughs, and laughing all together you cross the border.

as time goes by

Arriving in Odessa. Oh your beauty is still visible and charming even if you have severely come to age.

до свидания Россия

Video still Auktyon FIRE

Russia, whatever you may be, you touched me and something is burning in my heart thinking of all the wonderful encounters with bright hilarious people who crossed my road and who are open minded and curious and take care of strangers. Thank you all and listen to this song of Аукцион, a great Russian band. This song let you feel what I felt leaving after 30 days a country so wide and surprising, leaving all the new friends, leaving a part of my dream.