_just_went­_away

Performance

Kyiv region, November 2014 — performance
Gallery Gedok (Munich), December 2014 — performance
Brodskyi Art Museum (Berdyansk), October 2015 — performance
DOX Center for Contemporary Art, part of the exhibition “Reconstruction of Memory”, Prague, 2017 – video documentation of the project
Memory and Tolerance Museum, Mexico, 2019, part of the exhibition “On the Frontline” — audio-visual installation
UCEC Oseredok, Winnipeg, Canada, 2020, part of the exhibition “On the Frontline” — audio-visual installation

There was no phone connection for a week. Finally, we got in touch.
— Bomb shelling began today, — he said, — folks just packed and went away.
— Where did they go? — I asked.
— I don’t know, they just left, — he answered.

Stay and wait or go even not knowing where? This is a moment when there is no room for reasoning. The moment when your body makes a choice and you just follow it intuitively.Performance.

A month before this conversation, I was visiting my friend in the occupied Alchevsk (a city 40 km from Lugansk) that still remains on the territories not controlled by Ukraine. I was about to leave for Kyiv on that very day when they demolished the railroad. All the people who were at the railway station were left in the city for an undefined time. Among the passengers, there were many women, pregnant and with kids, who on that day had walked 40 km from Lugansk that had already been shelled. I was finally able to leave two weeks later, but I couldn’t help thinking about those who had remained at the station. After a news about another shelling, I also decided just to walk for 40 km in a provisional direction.
Olia Mykhailiuk

Moving for the sake of moving. The warmth that spreads in the body is an alternative to cold, numbness, death. When I was left completely alone (it was already dark and documentation didn’t make sense), I felt euphoria — a hot flow through the body – boundless freedom and strength. I felt that I didn’t fear talking about death and didn’t fear even death itself. _just_went_away — the direction resides in the process.
Olia Mykhailiuk

A performance that has combined documentation of the 40 km hike and texts written with chalk and coal on various surfaces.

But I continued to return in my thoughts to those unknown women at that railway station which trains never leave. Who of them stayed? Who went away? In what direction? At what moment? A year later, in Berdyansk (100 km from the frontline), a city that has received many settlers from the occupied territories, I met some of the women my hike was about.
Olia Mykhailiuk

An audio-visual installation in which the author combined documentation of her performance with audio-recorded real stories of young mothers that had left the occupied Donetsk, Gorlivka and Torez, became the backdrop of joint action. All story tellers were invited to participate. Each of them had a piece of coal and was at liberty to write (or not to write) anything at their discretion, even what they did not want to talk about.

_just_went_away was demonstrated as part of the exhibition “Reconstruction of Memory”.