Monday, February 15, 2010

Andyland-Ukraine



Andyland-Ukraine
a network sculpture marking the 20th anniversary of Ukraine's independence 1991-2011

As a young man, Andrew Oleksiuk was brought up ethnically Ukrainian in America. Before Ukraine gained its independence in 1991 Andrew struggled with a diasporan identity crisis of deriving his heritage from a country and culture that did but did not exist. The work links Oleksiuk's childhood drawings of an imaginary place (Andyland) to fantasy artistamps in the tradition of mail art and Fluxus. Artistamps, as an art form, appropriate governmental authority to commemorate events as part of an expression of national identity. Geographical Information Software (GIS) was used to map drawings of a virtual world (Andyland) onto the real map of present-day Ukraine. A set of mailings to Ukraine bearing artistamps constitutes the conceptual sculpture. A dialogue commences with the people of Ukraine in a spirit of friendship and world peace.



This work also honors John Rininger (1963-2006), a friend and colleague who acquainted the artist with mail art, artistamps and many conceptual art works including the suggestion of mapping mailings as sculpture.