“Bring Your Own Utopia”: Opening of Olga Povoroznyk’s (UNESCO City of Literature Lviv, Ukraine) and Eike Eplik’s installation “Safe Place”

Friday, 10th May

“When your hair is swaying from the blast wave, and you’re sitting in the hallway, waiting for it to be over, hoping for Air Defence, and staying awake the night between your friends’ funerals, your expectations of the world change forever. As well as expectations from yourself. This world was not perfect before. And so are we. A safe place is all you need to have that perfect, imperfect life. What we are trying to win back.”

“Safe Place” is a joint interdisciplinary project of Ukrainian poet and filmmaker Olha Povoroznyk and Estonian sculptor Eike Eplik. The project uses poems written by Olga in February 2024 while on a literary residency in Tartu – the city of literature. The texts are a poetic diary of a stay in Estonia.

The video, which is part of the project, was shot during the co-creation of the poet and the sculptor. Co-creation of a metaphorical space that could be considered a safe place to be.

Eike Eplik’s installation consists of two parts: “Personal space – Roe Deer Nest” and “Safe Place”. The works are strongly interconnected and deal with two possible safe places, one of them external and the other internal safe place. Which of them is more real?

“Safe Place”
“Personal Space – Roe Deer Nest”

A Roe Deer`s personal space is a hollow in the ground where it sleeps at night, hidden only by the surrounding plants. This plant wall does not protect it much from the surrounding predators, but it gives it hope to remain unnoticed, to sleep peacefully that night, staying in its safe place.

The safe place that protects us can be the constantly repeating actions and thought patterns that we use to create an airy sense of security around us every day. When these patterns are broken, the illusion of safety is shattered because, like the doe, we are never really protected from the worst.

Safety is illusory, but by finding in everyday life what we love and nurturing it every day, our safety inside grows as well. Although an illusion, it is the most genuine thing.

After the opening, the installation can be visited on Friday, May 10th, from 17:00 to 19:00, and on Saturday, May 11th, from 12:00 to 15:30, further arrangements can be made with the Tartu Public Library (phone: 5381 8933).

‘Bring Your Own utopia,’ is an interdisciplinary project organised by Prima Vista, Tartu UNESCO City of Literature, and five partner cities from the UNESCO Cities of Literature network: Lviv, Norwich, Manchester, Heidelberg, and Reykjavik.

The Project is a part of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024 main programme.
See also: https://kirjandusfestival.tartu.ee/en/events/tartu-2024-events/bring-your-own-utopia/