Open air exercise

Open air exercise
Olia Fedorova
Nature is a commodity. Just a background for our ego.

We’re trying to be aware and caring, we stop consuming meat and fur, we wear and eat only ‘eco’, and do the practices that we think will bring us back to nature. But by doing this, aren’t we exploiting it even more?

We think that we are helping nature this way, that we contribute to its future salvation. But our mindful lifestyle and habits doesn’t really mean a lot as long as the gigantic factories are still polluting the air, tankers spilling oil into the oceans and bulldozers clearing the forests for agricultural lands. What it really does is just making ourselves feeling better, looking better in our own eyes and in the eyes of others.

It makes us pleased – and blind. So we may not even see that we are doing our yoga exercises on the open air that smells of forest fires, while the black ashes are covering our 100 percent organic clothes.

Maybe when the world comes to an end – we won’t notice it either?

‘Open air exercise’ is a performance I made and documented during my trip to the pine forest near the village Horobiyvka in Kharkiv region, Ukraine. In early September there was a big fire. It is said that this happened due to the burning of dry grass by locals. About 10 hectares of forest were burned, and the village itself was almost completely destroyed by fire. According to the most positive forecasts, reforestation will take about 80 years, because the climate in this region is not humid enough for rapid vegetation growth.

Performance, photo, 2020