Bloomsday: Kyiv, June18th, 2007, 18:00 p. m. - Bloomsday Festival for Contemporary Art: 26 Ukraininan artists and best writers devote its works to legendary James Joyce.
16.06.2007 — 01.08.2007
What is “Bloomsday – Kyiv?”
In the republic library special depository Yuriy Kogutiak makes a copy of the first chapters of the novel from issues of the journal International literature of the 1930s. It might be said he acquire the experience of a dissident. Oleg Baishev’s father prints photos from several films in the plant photographic laboratory. All the pages are being enlarged; the first words emerge in the red twilight of the darkroom, though the words on the right side of the page are becoming dangerously blurred. With the page numbers sometimes overlapping, they are trying in vain to put them together in the right order.
It has been 24 years to the day of a personal acquaintance with Bloom.
Today we commence the Bloomsday festival for the first time in Ukraine.
Every year in more than 50 countries of the world James Joyce’s admirers celebrate the day of Leopold Bloom, the novel main hero of the novel Ulysses. It is on this day that the events of the novel, which has become one of the most compelling novels in the XXth century, take place. It was on the 16th of June when Joyce and Becket, not unlikely that after a considerable bout of drinking, took a stroll along Bloom’s route through Dublin. The readers learned of that, and Joyce has been collecting the best people around him for 80 years.
We have suggested a theme for the festival – Age as the Philosophy of Creation. Joyce emphasized the importance of the artist’s age; because in his works an artist will never be the same he was at 16, 35, or 80 years old… Age in Joyce’s view is an aesthetic category. Aesthetics comprises something that we really lack, and something that the modern world cannot make head nor tail of. That is why Joyce will always be relevant.
The festival presents different generations of artists. Their participation in our festival is unique in that it fixes each of the authors’ works by age. There are those who have achieved many goals in their profession and life, as well as quite young people, who are presenting themselves to an audience for the first time. After all, it is always a challenge for young people to assert themselves for the first time, and the challenge of a showroom. The festival makes it possible for them. We hope they will not lose their opportunity. And we will wish them good luck.
The literary part of the catalogue is very important as well. We are first publishing an excerpt from the play Exiles by James Joyce translated into Ukrainian by Maxim Klimentiev (University of Southern California, USA). It’s no wonder that Joyce is translated not by a translator but by a philosopher. We are expressing our sheer hope that Joyce, even partly, will become closer to the Ukrainian reader and this will help Joycean oeuvre to be rendered into Ukrainian in its entirety. We are grateful to several of the best representatives of Ukrainian literature for taking active part in the festival: Zabuzhko, Izdryk, Karpa, Korobchuk, Skurativsky…
And there is one more interesting point. Joyce’s last work was entitled Finnegan’s Wake, and it was written over a long period of time, which is why Joyce called it a “work in development.” This suggested an idea to us. We offer the audience the opportunity to take part in the play, to be part of its process: the spectator can see the beginning of work on a painting in the catalogue, and having attended the festival, s/he can appreciate its completion. Therefore some of the images presented in the catalogue are not finished. This is the unique opportunity to enter an artist’s studio. As you know, every play requires participation.
After all, each of us has an Odyssey of his or her own. Safe journey!
Yuriy Kogutiak, Oleg Baishev, Daryna Zholdak