Repeat After Me
2022, karaoke, film HD, color, 16:9, 17’ 07’’
Temporary displaced civilians - Svitlana, Antonina, Yuriy, Ekateryna, Iryna, Alla, Borys, Olena.
Camera, sound - Roman Bordun , special thanks - Roman Lebed, Stepan Burban.
A few weeks before Russia's full-scale invasion, the State Emergency Situations Service of Ukraine started distributing a several-page manual on how to behave in the area where military actions are happening. The order and type of action severely depend on whether the attack is asault rifle fire, artillery shelling, multiple rocket launcher shelling, or even aerial bombardment. Very often, the only way to distinguish the type of fire is to determine different weapon types by sound.
The video participants are civilians temporarily replaced from different regions of Ukraine in a camp for war refugees in Lviv, sharing their memories and expertise in the sounds of war. They, reproducing various types of weapons, conduct a kind of karaoke instruction, which, while transmitting simple sound sequences, is still unable to convey the experience that exists nearby, the experience that has become the price for this knowledge. This knowledge is a new reality for Ukrainians; possessing it helps to survive.
"From the moment we hear the first air raid siren, our 'internal alarm' is on alert. It keeps us in constant tension and makes us listen to every sound, every rustle. Sometimes suspicion creeps in even in silence."
Оpen Group was founded in August 2012 in Lviv by six Ukrainian artists. The group’s structure changed over the years, and its presently members are: Yuriy Biley, Pavlo Kovach and Anton Varga. They occasionally invite other artists or others to take part in their projects and join the Open Group. Artistic practice is based on the study of the concept of «collective work».
Open Group was awarded the special prize PinchukArtPrize (Kyiv) and in 2015 the winner of the main prize. Their works were featured at the Ukrainian National Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. In 2019, the Open Group was the curator of the National Pavilion of Ukraine at the 58th La Biennale di Venezia.