Pascale Martine Tayou, “Transform!” (2012) / explosives
In June 2015, this sculpture was demolished by separatist militants in Donetsk, Ukraine.
In 2014, rebels from the Donstsk People’s Republic (DPR), an unrecognized pro-Russian separatist group, took control of the Izolyatsia Center for Cultural Initiatives, a local arts and culture center located in a Soviet-era insulation factory. An update to the center’s website reported that armed rebels had invaded the space and were “demanding the appropriation of the site and its buildings for the benefit of the DPR and its activities.”
Despite the promise of DPR’s minister for social policy, Roman Lyagin, that “artworks and property belonging to the foundation would not be damaged,” Tayou’s work - a 40m-tall factory chimney that was topped with a giant lipstick tube, dedicated to women’s role in rebuilding Germany after WWII - was demolished with explosives, the act recorded on video. The work was damaged beyond repair.
Other works in the center’s collection were reportedly damaged in the occupation as well: Large-scale art installations from Daniel Buren, Leandro Ehrlich, and Cai Guo-Qiang were allegedly looted and vandalized, while Maria Kulikovska’s “Homo Bulla” was used for target practice and Kader Attia’s “Ce N’est Rien” was converted into a prison and interrogation center.