Dnipropetrovsk. Ya Gallery Art Center
27.10.2015 – 28.11.2015
…Recently it crossed my mind: it's so hard to escape a destiny of landscapes.
Taras Prokhasko, 2013 
Probably, a man's place in landscapes is one of the central questions that appear when one sees Pavlo Markov's etchings. It is about his absence/presence that depend on the point of the search -- on works or outside of them. Many times the artist answered this question, explaining or admitting that people were likely to appear eventually there. However, we will scarcely see solitary romantics or groups of tourists in his gardens and mazes.
There is a reason attracted to a peculiar artistic tradition - from Pieter Bruegel, who tells Icarus's story, giving the main hero less than one percent of canvas, to devastated by political regimes and bad weather landscapes in movies of Hungarian director Bela Tarr. Dense or neglected space might be a background for any social or private life - and often it amazingly is. Then it isn't a decoration anymore. Space itself becomes a language that "writes" a human being without unnecessary immersion in psychologism and symbolism. As we speak about military photography, in the book Regarding the Pain of Others (2003) Susan Sontag compares two different losses - human and urbanistic: "To be sure, a cityscape is not made of flesh. Still, sheared-off buildings are almost as eloquent as bodies in the street." .
The Margin exhibition is an up-to-date summary of chainlike meditations that have been forming during 2011-2015. They were separated by large works (Blanket, Garden, Tower, Cross, Destiny series) which had become a period of transition from Utopia and Gardens to other, mostly black and white landscapes. Although Blanket, Garden, Tower, Cross, Destiny exhibition could be named as a set of short-spoken phrases about human happiness, the following series and cycles are leisurely and still incomplete analysis of concurrent events of surrounding existence penetrated with new elements: containers (The Ukrainian Alphabet and Tower. Dream), rutted roads to form family relations and genealogy trees (Paradiso Perduto series), fingerprints (Fingerprints cycle) and base concrete blocks (The Margin). They all continue to play their roles in a new exposition: the container, as before, hides its content to prevent "openness"; clear ways keep on disappearing, and the roads, which had completely disappeared, transformed into straight lines and became emphasized by spread out blocks; in order to cross the border, sometimes it is necessary to leave a fingerprint, sometimes - it's better to hide it.
A temporary installation made of hundreds of downsized concrete bricks is an addition to etchings. In Kiev display (Ya Gallery, 2015) it was helix-shaped and resembled quite a Kharkiv landscape that at short distance looked like a constructivist master plan. Now bricks form a foundation since it is their primary purpose despite an extension of their contemporary function. That is why Makov pays attention to both poles that exist in everyday language where "to lay a foundation" means to give a start, and "to demolish to a foundation" means to destroy something completely. And the margin - the last periphery between two opportunities - is the dimension where a direction can be chosen, where a human being in a landscape will be ready to comprehend his place.
Borys Filonenko, 2015
1. Prokhasko, Taras "A writer sets a pitch like a tuning fork" // "The joy of contact. Conversations with Taras Prokhasko. - Brustury: Discourse, 2015. - P. 109
2. Sontag, Susan. Regarding the Pain of Others. – New York: Picador, 2003. – P. 8