Over the past couple of years Kiev has been in the spotlight for two energetic extremes: the Maidan revolution and the emerging rave scene. Art collective Sacre Sensitive — Anton Verbeshchuk and Nastia Vogan — want to show a slower pace of life in the city. Their latest project Stoned Only documents young people who prefer drifting to any other kind of existence.
“At some point there were lots of guys around us who were incredibly gifted at smoking without getting lost in the chaos of their thoughts. They had turned it into an art form. We wanted to capture their beauty”, says Verbeshchuk.
The project also reflects the complex consequences of the economic crisis: “Young people in Kiev right now are trying to find something interesting to do, which not only brings in money but is also inspiring. But considering the number of even the most basic jobs has decreased, most of them are doing nothing. Some people have random jobs, some are trying to create something of their own: business, music, clothes, but those are rare exceptions. You can feel the crisis not in terms of people being poorer than before, but in the fact that they don’t know what to do”, he adds.
“All of them are a little bit lost but full of hope,” adds the other half of Sacre Sensitive, Nastia Vogan. Sacre Sensitive is that rare initiative of doing something artistic of your own in a cultural void. Vogan describes the collective’s main interests as “love, death, magic and the infinite”, which is reflected perfectly in their portraits of Kiev’s smokers who possess the beauty of Renaissance statues.