The Daisy Rivers title refers to Daisyworld, a model of an imaginary planet where only two kinds of life exist, black and white daisies, which influence life on the planet, balancing it and regulating each other. The model was introduced by English climatologist James Lovelock in 1983 to illustrate the Gaia theory. This model explores and shows how living organisms both alter and are altered by human interference and climate change, influencing life on the planet and the global environment.
Daisy Rivers combines two stories about two rivers: the Volga in Russia and the Dnieper in Ukraine, color pictures and black & white, and feminine and masculine perspectives. Note that people often call the rivers as mother Volga and father Dnieper.
More than one-half of the world’s major rivers are depleted and polluted. The story of the Dnieper river highlights the broken relationship between humanity and nature, and the accumulated effects of centuries of abuse. The story of the Volga river is built on basic questions and choices people make in their lives. It is a story of those who move from big cities to rural areas, starting a new life close to nature, and building their new world. A change in values, from consumerism to ‘green’ living, from the rat race to a life in harmony with nature.
Daisy Rivers balances two narratives about two rivers and two distinct experiences, communities living in harmony and at odds.
Oksana Yushko is a Moscow based photographer and visual artist. Yushko’s approach combines documentary studies, sociology and anthropology, while her practice expands to different media including photography, video, and installations. Her work investigates the aftermath of conflicts and tragedies, relationships between human and nature, focusing on the topics of collective and private memory, ecology and bio-politics.
Arthur Bondar is photographer, visual artist and archeologist based in Moscow. Bondar works on his personal documentary and art projects which are centered around the themes of historical events, traces, and collective and private memory. He works extensively with archival materials.