Intrusion into Room 101


Documentary video footage shot in the office of the President of Ukraine

When it comes to court proceedings, it is often implied that the face-off between the parties in the dispute could somehow suddenly be resolved. The reasoning behind this is that the vicious circle of the corrupt system of justice could be broken willy-nilly due to an intervention of some unbiased party with higher standing who is both in the position and ought to find out who is in the right. As if the pursuit of justice was addressed to some impartial force which will put the real perpetrators in their place.

‘Room 101’ is an especially cruel torture chamber in the ‘Ministry of Love’ from the novel 1984 by George Orwell. Coincidentally, 101 is the number of the office of the President of Ukraine, the place where civic activist Oleksandr Volodarsky went to on April 11, 2010 to give the Ukrainian president an open letter stating that the court proceedings against him were rife with infringements. This was when the activist was still free. At the present time Volodarsky is a convict of the corrective institution No. 132 in the Ukrainian town of Irpen.

Oleksandr Volodarsky, activist and journalist, in 2009, did a performance protesting against the Ukrainian National Expert Commission for the Defence of Public Morality, accusing it of censorship and attempts to restrict freedom of speech. Volodarsky was arrested after his performance and on September 9, 2010 convicted and sentenced to a year's restriction of liberty. The decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal. 

Exhibited at "Court Experiment" (2010, VCRC, Kiev, Ukraine), and at "One Sixth of the Earth. Ecologies of Image" (MUSAC Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain)