Installation with sound, organic materials, bowls of water, textile


Lullabies for the land is an installation by artist and composer Yuval Avital, created in response to the current historical-political scenario, where the developments are still uncertain. For Avital, art’s purpose is to create signs and spaces. This purpose unleashed a spontaneous and immediate reaction of the artist, that led to the creation of Lullabies for the land, a sound and visual installation thought of as a participative work. Behind it, there’s the intent to create a place of reflection and dialogue, through an artwork that welcomes, cures, supports.

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Lullabies for the land is an experiential place of encounter and humanity, a circular space realized by common objects and filled with sound, an art ritual which aim to host a live performance.
The work addresses Mother Earth – here referring to the wounded Ukrainian land –, bringing together the voices of its women, mothers, grandmothers, sister, daughters.

The core of the installation is in fact a sound-based archive showcasing voices of Ukrainian women, collected in an open call through submissions trough email and Telegram. The contributions span from spoken words to lullabies and chants, and even the sounds of breathing. Avital’s sound piece is a work in constant flow and development, which will only stop being updated once the conflict is over.

The work pays homage to the Ukrainian flag and its colors, that offer an interpretation of the landscape as in an Impressionist painting. The yellow is recalled by wheat, hay and sunflowers arranged on a circular field, surrounded on its perimeter by bowls full of water to reflect the blue sky. In between the bowls are loudspeakers, covered by traditional women’s headpieces – the Ochipoks – and by other textiles. These spread the chants and voices of Ukrainian women, collected through an open call directed to both local and international communities.

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Women’s chants are a recurring theme for the artist, a fundamental element of his expressive vocabulary, that has played a protagonist role in other works too, such as Alma Mater. In Lullabies for the land the ochipoks and other textiles cover the loudspeakers reinforce the feminine presence, which already has a core relevance in the work through the voices and chants, but also underlying its tragic absence, symbolizing the cultural strength of a people that is courageously resisting the invader.

The work, thought of as a catalyzer of relationships and reflections, urges to open up a dialogue with Mother Earth and the natural elements. It stages a ritual of collective atonement, a cure, advocated politically and spiritually. The audience is welcome to take part in Lullabies for the land: visitors can cross the border that separates them from the art piece and enter the circular field, in a moment of silence or even during a performance, to let it heal their soul.

The open call of Lullabies for the land actively involves the communities: the Ukrainian women can send chants, lullabies, breaths, thoughts, through social network channels created ad hoc, in an anonymous form if they wish to. The vocal material is redesigned by Avital in a blurry, evocative sound environment, which nevertheless maintains the uniqueness of the original

The proposal of Lullabies for the land has been put forward during the first day of Planet Ukrain, a platform promoted by Triennale di Milano in preparation of the Ukraine pavilion for the 23rd International Exposition. As envisioned by its creators, the work is meant to occupy public spaces – squares, gardens, parks – as well as museums and international art centers.

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On March 13, Teatro Franco Parenti in Milan hosted the preview of Lullabies for the land, presented in a first essential version in occasion of the event “For Ukraine. For Europe”, that saw the participation of leading exponents of the culture and journalism world.