The Sickle-Pepsi Installation is composed of the handmade wreath put on the Pepsi flag and framed with the imitated folk... Read More
The Sickle-Pepsi Installation is composed of the handmade wreath put on the Pepsi flag and framed with the imitated folk ornament ribbon. The wreath is composed of the authentic Soviet sickle, artificial flowers, ears of wheat and metal nails. Each flower carries a symbolic meaning: • The sunflower is an iconic flower in Ukraine, as Ukrainian flag is often interpreted as a sunflowers field with a blue, clear sky above. • Daisies represent purity and innocence. • Cornflower is equally present on the field in Northern Ukraine and South-Western Russia and is a connecting element for both nations. • Poppy flower is a new symbol of Ukrainian national movement. • Red roses were a symbol of my native city-Donetsk. Ears of wheat represent prosperity and hope for a better future, though metal nails translate into the sacrifice and crucifixion metaphor. Traditionally each flower or piece in the wreath was carefully selected according to its symbolic meaning and religious beliefs. Initially it was a strongly transcendent object, as it was (and in some places still be) a tool for a sortilege. In Ukraine exist several traditions bound with the future prediction by the use of wreath and in some regions it was even believed in its healing power. The Pepsi flag is used as a background, but also as a cultural basement representation. Pepsi was the first foreign product distributed in the post-Soviet space. For this reason, the youth of the Post-Soviet 90's is known as the Generation Pepsi. This combination of authentic, religious objects with the pieces from mass market creates a new vision of the cultural identity formation. Thus, the symbols of my past - ancestral, soviet, national- get entwined into our actual history and become a crowning new experience. An authentic sickle, an ambivalent symbol of peaceful rural life and soviet past, meet artificial flowers that are common to find in Ukrainian cemeteries and mass production objects from AliExpress. This seemingly natural combination shows how serious and kitschy, authentic and replicated work as crucial elements of the process of identity-making. Identity as a form and a limit is ambivalent, as it appears as something attractive, wearable, pleasant and naïve, but can also be traumatizing, dangerous. Those objects acquire a vibrant intensity through their ambiguity, because, while being pieces of a broken cultural matrix, they function together as an emerging form.