Who allowed you to live beautifully?



The phrase "Who allowed you to live beautifully?" was initially believed to be an inscription on the wall of a destroyed building in the Kyiv region, attributed to Russian occupiers. However, it was later revealed that the graffiti and image were actually created in Russia around 2016. Ukrainian officials unintentionally reproduced the image after the commencement of the full-scale invasion. The use of such phrases on buildings was not uncommon, as Russian occupiers were known to leave graffiti on destroyed houses while retreating from Ukraine.

Interestingly, the image itself has evolved into a symbol, highlighting the impact of fake news and the role of informational warfare in modern conflicts. This incident underscores how easily misinformation can spread and become entwined with the narratives surrounding warfare, shaping public perception in unexpected ways.

The recreation of the phrase in the form of the neon sign underscores these dubious perceptions and meanings that can be easily misinterpreted and used in a new way. On first glance, the neon statement "Who allowed you to live beautifully?" can be seen as a possible critique of consumerism and the luxurious setting of an art fair, while its origin tells a totally different story.

Installation shots from Art Rotterdam: