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Room of Words







1 min


war, history, language


“Room of Words” is an audio installation about the beauty of the Ukrainian language and its power, which becomes a pillar of support in difficult times. Like exchanging passwords at checkpoints, like in the children’s ball game of associations, two people tell each other Ukrainian words — melodic, poetic, beloved and gentle to the ear. Some of these words have been forgotten, some were repressed in soviet times, some have been displaced from usage in favour of those phonetically closer to foreign — often russian — synonyms. The installation is a play without a plot but the sequence of words is not random. The war speaks through it. The words you hear associatively recreate the whirlwind of events and states of 2022 by creating a chasm between the melodic sound of Ukrainian words and the painful reality of their meanings.


Why do these beautiful words have such horrible meanings now?


This work is a manifesto:

language is a source of my esthetic experience;

language is a tool of my defence and resistance;

language is a game, an opportunity for exchange and sharing;

language is memory by which my past exists;

language is my political statement.


“Language is an act of love, beauty, and revolution” and we are reclaiming each of them and each of the words.

Produced Maria Matiashova

Music Oleksii Podat 

Voices Karina Piliugina, Verona

Recording Dmytro Oleksiuk

Special thanks: Dima Tolkachov, Ihor Babaiev, Nika Popova, Nastia Kolodka, Vladyslava Kozlenko

Translation Goda Grigolytė

Subtitles Adomas Zubė

Animation Emilija Juzeliūnaitė

Maria Matiashova

An Ukrainian interdisciplinary artist born in 1993 in Kyiv. Having received a law degree, she gave up a career as a lawyer and started her artistic practices. Maria works at the intersection of various media, including video, photography, text, performance, installation, and public intervention. In her projects, she explores personal memory, identity issues, human relationships and social norms, language, and the effects of digital technology on social behaviour. She is currently working on the subject of russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Maria has participated in the group exhibitions in Ukraine, Germany, Switzerland, and Poland. Currently lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine.

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