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Contemporary Artists, Writers and Performers React to the Master

Yara Arts Group and the Ukrainian Institute of America presented GOGOL/HOHOL: Contemporary Artists, Writers and Performers React to the Master February 4-6, 2000. The weekend long festival included: an art exhibit, film festival and performances of music, poetry, dance and drama exploring the legacy of Ukrainian-born writer Nikolai Gogol (Hohol).

Yara invited twenty artists to create works on paper, videos, installations, music, theatre and dance pieces inspired by the short stories of Nikolai Gogol. Artists selected entire stories, excerpts or sometimes a single phrase on which to base their work. The works were exhibited throughout the three floors of the Institute's newly restored Fifth Avenue mansion. The art exhibit was curated by Isabelle Dupuis and Virlana Tkacz. Participanting artists included: Rosie Cutler, Anya Farion, Mark Ferguson, Annette Friedman, Petro Hrytsyk, Alexandra Isaievych, Cynthia Karalla, Alexander Khantaev, Yuri Lev, Olga Maryschuk, Peter Melville, Margaret Morton, Yevgeniya Plechkina, Carmen Pujols, Ira Rosovskaya, Joel Schlemowitz, Marina Trofimova, Stefan Tur, Marybeth Ward/Ozzie Rodriguez and Tristan Wolski. Films based on Gogol's work ran continuously throughout the festival.

A special gala featured Yara actors Xenia Piaseckyj, Jennifer Rohn and Meredith Wright, performing new poetry by Christine Turczyn inspired by Gogol. Maryana Sadovska, Tristra Newyear and Julian Kytasty sang folk songs that inspired Gogol's works and Katja Kolcio/Kolo Dancers presented an installation/movement piece. Next day there was a reading of a new play by Mason Goldin based on Gogol's story "A Portrait."

3 artworks

Nikolai Gogol, or Mykola Hohol in Ukrainian, was born in Myrhorod near Poltava in 1809 and died in Moscow 1852. While working as a minor civil servant in St. Petersburg, Gogol spent his free time composing short stories in Russian based on his observations and memories of life in Ukraine. He was the first writer of the so-called Ukrainian school in Russian literature. His works include the short story collections Evenings on a Farm Near Dykanka, Mirgorod and Arabesques with his famous stories "The Nose" and "The Overcoat; " the plays: The Marriage and The Inspector General; and the novels: Taras Bulba and Dead Souls. There are hundreds of translations of Gogol's work and he is recognized as one of the greatest writers of the 19th century.

Yara Arts Group is a resident company at the internationally acclaimed La MaMa Experimental Theatre in New York. GOGOL/HOHOL is the tenth major event Yara has presented at the Ukrainian Institute.

Maryana Sadovska

First photo strip: Kolo Dancers, Meredith Wright, Julian Kytasty, Tristra Newyear
and Maryana Sadovska. Photos Peter Ihnat.
Second photo strip: installation by Cythia Karalla inspired by "Diary of a Madman,"
Gogol's portrait sculpture by Stafan Tur and Annette Friedman with her scupture.
Photos by Yuri Lev and Peter Ihnat.
Photo of Maryana Sadovska Yuri Lev.
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