Kyiv. Ya Gallery Art Center
12.07.2017 – 19.08.2017
Yurii Denisenkov's second individual project Instinct is the next step after his Background series (2013) in studying the signs of modernity. And if four years ago the artist was basing on how he personally felt the time “incongruities" and “layers", this time he focuses on mass conscience as well as (self-)control of an individual as an element of a crowd that is vulnerable in its essence. According to the author, “On becoming a part of a mass, a pigeon as a symbol of peace and evangel transforms into the image of a dreadful meat grinder devouring and destroying everything that gets in there". Besides, another reference to modernity stemmed from the artist's internal need in painting as such and made the picture specific and clear. The key to this may be found in the artist's initial attitude towards the subject because “it was important to express an opinion the way it did not confuse anybody [a viewer]". Yurii Denisenkov notes that he started working on the project when he noticed “how the image of one and the same pictured object dramatically changes once this object has got in the conditions of accumulation and crowdedness. That is “destruction" of an individual and change of his image take place on account of reproduction and consolidation."
Hence, the author's intent is obvious – “clearing things up" – and it coincides with the realistic method applied by the artist. Therefore, a dog on the Denisenkov's painting is nothing but a dog, just like a pig, a fish or an ant. By combining them in a certain composition though, Denisenkov models behavioural patterns, which characterize not only the world of animals or insects. The ants in the artist's work, for instance, are tempted by a drop of jam and consequently meet their “sweet" death. Yurii Denisenkov draws a parallel between bees with their organization of honey production, drone control as progressive model of the society and today's corporations. Every morning employees fill up their office blocks like bees – their honeycombs. This plot is followed up by another painting depicting a school of fish taken out of the only environment it can live in. These stories make up one of main themes of the series – caught and tricked by something.
Thus, incepted in the realm of ordinary things – the artist observing pigeons rushing down at seeds and creating almost abstract mass, – Instinct seems to be built on the behaviours of non-humans only on the face of it. Because what his stories really do, they refer to the fight and survival by any means of a human being in particular whose path is full of manipulations and fatal concessions, and whose deeds are sometimes preconditioned by the animal instinct. With this in mind, the author elaborates the idea of majority that can conceal and devour. “Crowd is the destruction of personality", Yurii Denisenkov repeats. Marina Abramovic's performance Rhythm 0 (1974) where people could do with the artist everything they wanted to is good evidence for it. “It is hard to believe how fast a person can go back to the caveman mindset if everything is allowed", Abramovic commented on her experience. The fact that all participants disappeared as soon as the performance was over is no less revealing. Instinct also brings up this phenomenon and makes us picture an individual capable of everything both in a crowd and on his own. This is demonstrated by terrorism as modern alternative of full-fledged wars that target numerous scores of people – crowds – and make of a terrorist the same individual that will be inevitably caught like flies in honey.
Yurii Denisenkov's second individual project Instinct is the next step after his Background series (2013) in studying the signs of modernity. And if four years ago the artist was basing on how he personally felt the time “incongruities" and “layers", this time he focuses on mass conscience as well as (self-)control of an individual as an element of a crowd that is vulnerable in its essence.