Roman Minin "Escape Plan for the Donetsk Region"



“Escape Plan for the Donetsk Region” by the Ukrainian artist Roman Minin reminds of a good-outcome game of successful problem-solving. The point is that the Donetsk region, where many coalminers live and work, is, probably, the most depressed region in Ukraine. The artist, having been born in the area, as well as many others, was forced to “run away” from the city.

The ‘escape’ resulted in the art project, which consists of colour photos and graphic works and is based upon East Orthodox iconography and symbolism. The symbolism is strongly reflected through texts in the pictures that have letters of the alphabet invented by the author in order to make his plan secret.

Thus, Roman Minin not only hints that a Donetsk dweller could be understood only by another Donetsk dweller but also wards off censorship which triggered the closing of his exhibition in Donetsk in 2008.


However the ‘escape’ metaphor which stands out in the “Escape Plan for the Donetsk Region” should be perceived more widely, not only as a concept of escape from one place to another in search of a better life, but also as a metaphor for impossibility of escape from oneself.

Sergey Kantsedal, 2011

A sufficient time has elapsed from the moment of the birth of this concept picture, "Escape Plan for the Donetsk Region", in order to use the 2011 and the 2017 points of reference to obtain a parallax vision of the ongoing processes in the Donbass. This expands the world view.


Now I understand that you can escape. It's harder to go back and change everything there, from where you ran. This process will take even more time. And the creations of artists are silent. They don’t excite stadiums or receive a standing ovation. They work slowly. As well as radioactive isotopes have their half-life, so do paintings with deep meaning have their own half-life of comprehension.

The half-life of understanding of this picture is about 5 years. During this time, several people translated my font and wrote me letters in it. The picture has its own fan club. I displayed it in many places. But since this is a sketch for a monumental creation, I believe that I should wait for such an opportunity, when I can translate it into a monumental technique in a worthy place and size. For example, in the stained glass technique.

A place for this multi-figure composition should be originally thought out in the building’s architecture. Then, I, as an artist, will consider this idea finished. It's important for me.

Roman Minin, 2017