Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk
Naomi Uman in attendance
Like a crochet needle swiftly passing through loops of silk and wool, sun-thickened fingers prying at garlic-clove sheaths, or a chorus of wedding songs around a table of varenyky and boiled dumplings, Naomi Uman’s camera lives amongst the people, homes and villages she films.
Setting out to retrace the footsteps of her family’s own immigrant history, Naomi, an American artist who divides her time between Los Angeles and Mexico City, made a reverse journey of her great-grandparent’s emigration from Uman, Ukraine. She bought a house in Legedzine, just outside of Uman, toured films around the country, befriended village babushki, and established an artist residency for cultural exchange.
The films in “Ukrainian Time Machine” evolved out of the tactile and visceral experience of living in Legedzine. Kalendar chronicles her early days of Ukrainian language lessons. Clay is a portrait of a brick factory that sits atop the ruins of the 5000- year-old, clay-based Trypillian civilization.
Unnamed Film contains footage, in chronological order, shot from the time she arrived in Legedzine to the time she left. “Ukrainian Time Machine” is the latest extension of an artistic practice that involves Uman’s prolonged immersion in the world of her subjects; in previous projects, she lived with a diary-farming family in rural Mexico and with a Mexican immigrant family employed in industrial dairy production in California.
Kalendar. 2008, 10mins.
On This Day. 2008, 5mins.
Window. 2008, 3mins.
Coda. 2008, 3mins.
Clay. 2008, 12mins.
Unnamed Film. 2008, 55mins.