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date. 2015-ongoing

city. Weimar/Kyiv/Wroclaw

The work over the project gut started during the studies in the international MFA program Art in Public Space and New Artistic Strategies at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar and analized in the final work – Master Thesis, supervised by Professor Dr. Jörg Paulus, Anke Hannemann and Dr. Alexander Schwinghammer.

The research started with a simple at a fist glance attempt to find precise translation of the German word gut into Ukrainian, in which gut, depending on context, can be translated as добрий (gütig), хороший(schön) or якісний (von höher Qualität). Difficulties that arise on a way refer to close bonds between language and environment, in which a particular language is used, as long as to properties of a language in itself. At the same time, these difficulties become really interesting in a situation of refugee crisis and arising skepticism around capitalism, because they reveal how differently borders between material and spiritual, secular and religious are defined in different cultures.  Finally, mentioned borders are not stable even within one culture and also change due to modernization, globalisation, digitalization, disembedding and changing of gender roles in society [1]

The project started with interviews of speakers of German and Ukrainian languages. This idea was based on own intention and study of the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations, as long as one of main statements of Wittgenstein’s work is that meaning is use [2]. 

New media and technologies create new possibilities for work with language. A language is like river flow – words change their meaning and this movement of meaning is actually a language, and new media provide unique opportunity to grasp this movement. Wittgenstein pays attention in his work to similar observations in Augustine’s Confessions to describe the essence of human language:

When they (my elders) named some object, and accordingly moved towards something, I saw this and I grasped that the thing was called by the sound they uttered when they meant to point it out. Their intention was shewn by their bodily movements, as it were the natural language of all peoples: the expression of the face, the play of the eyes, the movement of other parts of the body, and the tone of voice which expresses our state of mind in seeking, having, rejecting, or avoiding something. Thus, as I heard words repeatedly used in their proper places in various sentences, I gradually learnt to understand what objects they signified; and after I had trained my mouth to form these signs, I used them to express my own desires.


Ilm River, screenshot from a video

[1]  Monika Wolting, Zu Identitätskonstruktionen in der deutschen Gegenwartsliteratur, V&R unipress, June, 2017

[2] Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 4th Edition, P. M. S. Hacker (Editor), Joachim Schulte (Editor), published by Wiley-Blackwell, November, 2009

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