Maize / Maze

The newest piece by Art Sviter Group takes its narrative meaning from homophones - words that share the same pronunciation, regardless of spelling, while their definitions differ completely. This “strategy” leads to a series of miscommunications that finally turn the plot into an absurd. The two protagonists do not seem to be surprised by this, though, and are giving in to the reality manifesting the words they say in front of them. On top of that their dog, named Ophelia, keeps disappearing. The women call her out into the empty space. Ophelia, a famous Shakespearian character, is a representation of a mad figure, who talks in riddles and sings songs that hold symbolic meanings but are inconsistent. All of the above creates a maze of misleading signposts and makes the viewer more confused the more they watch.


Art Sviter Group


Maize / Maze


Anna Czaban and Ewa Kozik


The Other Space Foundation, 2022

“Maize / Maze” was created by Ukrainian artists in the same year as the Russians began the military war in their country. Large number of the people had to flee and either stopped over in Poland or stayed there, trying to figure out their world anew. As Polish and Ukrainian languages are very similar, it seems possible to communicate without knowing the other. However, at times it might lead to confusion and wrong conclusions. It began to be expected that the migrants will adjust to the foreign land and follow the rules of the hosts. In these circumstances it is harder than usual - given the trauma of suddenly leaving everything behind, often losing home, close ones and being confronted by an enemy, who wants to eradicate one’s own culture.

The video is not terrifying, bleak or depressing, though. Quite on the contrary - the protagonists are beautiful, the landscape is composed out of thriving nature and the sun is out. Nothing is out of normal, and everything is. Life keeps on going, although it does not make sense. People keep talking, however, they do not understand each other. Ophelia comes and goes, symbols lose their meanings, roads lead nowhere and the words get lost.