U EL EL UL EL TE KA is the remarkable record of a series of co-operations between the Ukrainian military and a host of respected Ukrainian artists. Boris Mikhailov’s photomontages dissect the stereotyped macho images of men of war featuring Ukrainian soldiers cradling teddy bears in their arms. Meanwhile Iliya Chichkan’s transposition of the visual idiom of fashion photography from the pages of western glossy magazines to the barracks of the Ukraine serves to highlight the absurd orthodoxy of the self-images held by both the worlds of fashion and of the military.
Out of this world, or at least its atmosphere, are the images by the International Masoch Foundation that formed part of the first art exhibition ever held in space. The pictures accompanied Russian astronauts on their trip into space and were installed on the Mir space station. The anarchic spirit that informed all these projects is sustained through the rest of U EL EL UL EL TE KA in which further gem-like examples of artist-military co-operation nestle…U EL EL UL EL TE KA is the epigraph to a small book written by Kasimir Malevich and was his invented battlecry for a new system of art that broke with old bourgeois institutions and instead tuned into the emergent communist ideals of the period. When considered with this fact in mind U EL EL UL TE KA becomes a jaded response to the fragility of ideals and the ease with which they become corrupted by the endless struggles, between humans, for power.