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Separatists in eastern Ukraine blow up art installation

Pascale Marthine Tayou’s 40m-tall piece was dedicated to the women of Donetsk

by Sophia Kishkovsky  |  26 June 2015
Separatists in eastern Ukraine blow up art installation
Pascale Marthine Tayou's Make Up! has been destroyed
Rebel fighters in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, have blown up an installation by the Cameroonian artist Pascale Marthine Tayou on the grounds of Izolyatsia, a contemporary arts center in a former Soviet-era insulation factory that was seized during heavy fighting in 2014.

On 22 June, Izolyatsia, which has reopened in Kiev, posted a video on its website of separatists letting off a stream of expletives and laughing as they blow up Tayou’s work, Make Up!, which features a giant lipstick atop a factory smokestack. Isolyatsia says it has received confirmation of the destruction.

Izolyatsia, which was developing contemporary culture in Donetsk, a mining city that had started to blossom before war broke out, also worked with international artists. Tayou’s installation was part of Where is the Time?, a 2012 joint project with Galleria Continua, an Italian gallery with branches in China and France.

In a video interview last year, with artillery fire sounding in the background, Leonid Baranov, then a defense official of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic, which had taken over Izolyatsia, told Russian journalists that the art found there was “pornography”.

Tayou, who is based in Belgium, said when he created the work that it was dedicated to the women of Donetsk who rebuilt the city after the Second World War. He described the city as “not only a city of mines and metal” but “also an island of dreams, ready to share its hidden treasures.”

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