Anastasiia Leliuk was born in Lugansk in 1997. Before the commencement of the war in 2014, she pursued studies at the art school in Luhansk. Following the outbreak of conflict, Leliuk and her family were compelled to relocate. After graduating from the National Academia of Fine Arts in 2019, she worked on various artistic projects related to theater, film, exhibitions and art restoration.
Story of experience of risk, relocation and/or exile
Artist’s account: My story is more about return, but at the same time, the impossibility of return. Because my hometown has been occupied for 10 years, I unfortunately have a very long experience of exile, although it has shaped me as a person. I learned to be in the moment, to live here and now, not to postpone for later, and to do as much as I can in the moment. I am grateful that I ended up at the Artists at Risk residency in this period of my life when I most wanted to return to Ukraine. It became a new page for me in rethinking my identity in the context of social history.
Projects created during the residency period
During her residency, Anastasiia Leliuk worked on an immersive exhibition dedicated to the Ukrainian dissident Ivan Svitlychny.
Anastasiia Leliuk: The figure of Ivan Svitlychny (20 October 1929, Polovinkine, Starobil District, Ukrainian SSR — 25 November 1992, Kyiv, Ukraine) is on the border between the world of ideas and matter. With his life, he personified that inner energy which causes everything to manifest in the visible world, he was a light that pierces the darkness. His works are filled with the intensity of the struggle of that era, when Russification, under the guise of internationalism, confidently permeated all spheres of life. Fortunately, it is impossible to fully comprehend the tragedy and strength of the generation that laid down their lives for the sake of Ukrainian identity. How impossible it is to fully understand someone else’s experience without having a similar one.
In this chain of transmission of social consciousness, we find ourselves at a kind of border where there are no semitones. Social memory is quickly transformed into individual memory under the influence of an external threat. And knowingly or not, we continue to construct tomorrow’s possibilities or their absence. Svitlychny passed away 31 years ago, but as his wife recalled, “Physically, Ivan died in his bed in October 1992, and as a creative person, he died in August 1981 in exile in Altai.” So this exhibition became another attempt to preserve the connections between people and events that, despite pressures and obstacles, did so much for us to have our identity.
This programme is organized by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) as part of the Artists at Risk (AR)-Network in partnership with UNESCO and with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Teiger Foundation.