The Apocryphon of Lucifer & Lybid is a hybrid art-documentary book project which, at heart, is a poetic reflection of the author's sometimes fraught journey into individuation; culminating in the sculpting of a curious personal philosophy and a quasi fictional Gnostic-Pantheistic religion called Lybidism.
What starts as a traditional, albeit unusual documentary photography project, about a deranged Russian engineer, who believes he is an angel called Lucifer; radically changes course after he is murdered in his isolated, ramshackle Kyiv mansion in 2017.
Before his death Lucifer warns of impending doom for humanity and tells the author he must meet an ancient pagan priestess called Lybid, whose mythical "river of tears" is today a polluted little brook in the industrial heart of the city.
Lucifer’s mysterious wall art and esoteric prose, as well as the unsolved murder, make the author realise the limitations of documentary photography and cause him to turn to art, epistemology and history of religion, as tools for deciphering what happened to Lucifer, why the local Ukrainian society wrongly labelled him a "Satanist" and what he was trying to communicate to a world that generally couldn't care less.
The final work is partly a manifestation of the authors' documentary study of Lucifer but is equally a quest for self-knowledge. Along the way, the author creates a new persona called Helel Bones, who allows him to escape the conventions and ethics of traditional documentary photography. And meet the shapeshifting priestess of Kyiv's Lybid river, where the homeless shelter among rotting piles of rubbish and hardy wagtails build plastic-laced nests from Ukrainian ecocide.
Bones and his irreverent experiments eventually assist the author in radically transforming his world views, especially about the controlling influence of patriarchal capitalism, consumerism and mainstream Abrahamic religion on our understanding of self, Mother Nature and the place of humans within her ecosystems.