Between Dog and Wolf, 2022
Installation view, Atelier Josepha, Ahrenshoop, Germany.
Straw, paper, photography.
Between Dog and Wolf (from French saying 'entre chien et loup') metaphorically means twilight and refers to the moments after sunset, making it difficult to see things clear, to distinguish between dogs and wolves, friends or enemies, etc.
The project rises questions concerning current political and ecological thinking, identifying parallels between acting and playing on words, dealing with cliches, tropes and newspeak. Grasping at straws*, Oksana uses this material for her site-specific installations. She has been addressing the issue of borders for years, and in this new project she shapes a scarecrow from people’s fears in a form of borders, which divide people from reality and each other.
The strawman fallacy substitutes truth with fake arguments, marries facts with errors of omission. The farmer’s straw-man is set up in the field and frighten birds. Fears don’t let them come closer, same happens with humans constructing imaginary borders in the mind, dealing with fallacies and not tangible issues.
‘…It means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white, and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary’ wrote George Orwell in his ‘1984’ novel. Some borders, enemies or ideas are made totally of straw. Assembling a simple object from a straw and a blank paper, Oksana invites a viewer to follow a direction of her thoughts and actions, choosing the right angle and perspective.
It’s up to us which optics we use and which choices we make in our life. Self-isolation, closed borders, and current conflicts made many people rethink co-existence with each other and relationship between human and nature all over the world.
Walls or borders have two sides and at least two concepts. We could build walls or roofs from the same materials, we could divide or cover up and give a hope, or at least to mitigate a problem caused by previous misguided actions.
* 'Grasping at straws' is used to mean an attempt to succeed—such as in an argument, debate or attempt at a solution— trying unusual or extreme ideas or methods because other ideas or methods
* 'The straw man' is a logical fallacy that replaces something (a person, a viewpoint, an argument) with a distorted version or a false image that blows the original out of proportion to make it easier to attack.