Licking a Salt Lamp for Five Years: Art Project About War

Artists Andrii Dostlev and Leah Dostleva completed a project, which lasted for 240 weeks. During all this time, they licked a salt lamp in shape of a tank, bought in Bakhmut, Donetsk region. “We thought: this is a wound left by the war. What do you do with your wounds? You lick them. Salt is a very suitable material for this. So we decided to lick the lamp little by little,” Andriy Dostlev said in 2019. Then Bird in Flight wrote about how the project began and how artists have approached the theme of war. For five years, Leah and Andriy took a picture of the lamp once a week and shared it on social networks.

On July 11, Andriy Dostlev wrote on his Facebook page that many believed that the war in Donbas would also be over by the end of the project: “[But there are no changes]. The war continues, people live in exile away from their homeland or suffer under occupation regimes in Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea.”

In 2017, Leah Dostleva and photographer Yulia Po created the installation “Beach,” entirely consisting of stones brought from Crimea. Both artists come from the territories occupied by Russia today – Crimea and Donbas. Their work is about Ukrainians from different cities and even countries united by the loss of the peninsula.

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