Olga Makhno is a Ukrainian-born artist who focuses on the ability to observe and reason without haste and pain, memory, mythology, trauma, relationships, and the fragility of the world through the mediums of installations, video art, ready-made, found object, photography, painting, graphics, collage, and more.
During her stay, Olga created many performative pieces that all connect with how she exists in this land.
“Not a phoenix” is a performative piece where Olga explores her own mortality and the precariousness of life through animal vertebrae she found in the desert. The fragmentation and fragility of the assembled arrangement remind her own congenital structure of having an unstable vertebra in the cervical region and non-standard anatomy of the arteries, making the neck exceptionally vulnerable. Below is a poem by Olga, which accompanies this piece.
“It seems I won't live forever.
It seems I won't rise from the ashes.
It seems to me that I'm not a Phoenix.
Tell me I'm wrong.”
“Ghosts” is Olga’s response to this land and the way she communicated with it. She was inspired by the concept of plastic recycling/upcycling as a man-made creation that tries to correct its destruction. To witness the salvation and chaos humans bring, she created self-portraits out of locally collected plastic waste which was 3D printed and prepped manually. With these objects, she created a performance - moved them around the land and photographed the process, and later, she installed them in various parts of the building as easter eggs.
“I don't understand your language,
I don't know how to talk to you,
your sun is too hot for me,
your nights are freezing my blood,
but I allow me to spy on you,
to become a transparent viewer,
an invisible guest
Photos by Olga Makhno