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Oksana Rybaruk-Zelenchuk about Paraska Plytka-Horytsvit

Artist, writer, poet, photographer, ethnographer. Oksana Rybaruk-Zelenchuk — a poet and cultural figure

Home of Paraska Horytsvit

If you come to Kryvorivnia by bus from Ivano-Frankivsk, Kolomyia or Kosiv, get off at the stop “near the pines” and walk a few meters deep into the village – you will see a winding narrow road leading directly to the house of Paraska Gorytsvit. Twenty or thirty minutes on foot, and an old house, unlike the traditional Hutsul hut, appears in front of our eyes. Next to there is a small bench and a fragrant jasmine bush. In summer I do not miss the opportunity to come to Paraska’s house to breathe that bloom. And also to look at the tops – Dovbushenka, Synnytsi,   Kychery, Tarnochka. It is perhaps the best place to observe them from.

I am crossing the threshold of the house and feel the presence of Paraska. She is there in everything – in the small details on the headset, sheets laid out on the shelves, homemade books, dried herbs over a sprawling Hutsul stove, old bedspreads, dusty photos.  Although the hostess has been gone for twenty-three years, her house is nobody’s, as it still has the smallest memory of its owner. Goethe once wrote that in order to understand the author, one must visit his region. And yet I believe that it is no less important, if possible, to visit their house, to contemplate the space.

Because the house is a mirror of something inner, hidden, secret. Walking around the house of Paraska-Plytka, you can learn, for example, that she was attentive to the smallest details, she was able to turn any chaos into her own space, known and understandable only for Paraska. If I were asked to reject all the signs connected to Paraska, all those “ethnographer”, “writer” or “photographer’, I would leave only one – the artist. The one that moves the world by touch, that gives spiritual energy to the physical state.

One summer I heard a phrase I had heard many times before. “Paraska was not very similar to ideal gazdynia (hostess)”. And indeed, it was thought then that maybe Paraska did not meet the standards of a good hostess in Kryvorivnia of that time.. She lived alone, had no сattle or gardens. But how much did she gain spiritually for herself, for the community, for the world, doesn’t that make her a proper gazdynia? The hostess of spirit, which first cared for the spiritual, turning it into material. And indeed it is difficult to grab everything at once, what was created during her life. It seems as if the creation is here in the smallest detail, in the smallest nook. And this is only a small part of what can be seen with your eyes. And how much has been done for the community? To preserve the memory of people and their places that exist today. Contrary to all the laws of temporality. In photos, texts, drawings.

When I think of Paraska, I also think of her place. How often did she go to the forest? Climbed Dovbushenka or Igrets? Did she like to sit near Black Cheremosh? There is so much wildlife, wind, mountains and sun in the poems of Paraska,
Oh, you make noise, make noise my wind
Because you have the will!
So let - what is written -
I'll send with you.

For me, that nature is very alive – not instrumentalized, not tamed by false modernity and rationality. Like Paraska was alive, she knew how to be so that her absence still hurts even those who never knew her. The magic of Paraska Plytka-Horytsvit is in existence outside the canonical drawers, in which artists are so accustomed, depending on political regimes and historical policies. This is about the existence beyond time, theories and space.
Author of the text Yuliia Kishchuk
Photo author Serhii Havryliuk

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