Dnipropetrovsk. Ya Gallery Art Center
23.04.2015 – 12.06.2015
A man in a landscape. Two examples come to mind. The first one - a landscape as a background to portraits as it was painted by Thomas Gainsborough in his Mr. and Mrs. Robert Andrews (1750). Arrogant man and woman pay little attention to a spectator as if they say: "Look, here are all our lands, all this space is ours". Even a painting title gives a hint in advance: it is not about landscapes. Another significant example - Wanderer above the Sea of Fog (1818) by Caspar David Friedrich. From so great a height a lonely romantic looks down on nature, even Nature. This image is absolutely opposite, yet it is not about a landscape again. Why? It seems to be always such a matter with this genre. Most frequently an ideal landscape - a "theatrical framing" in Claude Lorrain's manner, as much as possible withdrawn from a spectator to a safe distance in order not to interfere in "human". However, from time to time another chance occurs - to appear in a landscape twice or even three times, in all three dimensions, in its heart. Such landscapes speak out in another way. We may recall Heidegger's "a man abandoned in existence", or alike we can remember the brothers Grimm's "Hansel and Gretel" where this "abandonment" is not a metaphysical mindsight anymore, but a noticeable gesture: the children are sent to a forest because their parents can't feed them. There are "landscapes-that-surround". And Andrij Sagaidakovsky's landscapes are like that.
There is no coincidence that his new exhibition has such a wide title, almost as a separate art genre. He doesn't try to make it specific, quite the opposite - he uses it in the broadest senses. The landscapes here are not only the impressionists' remakes, or "Silent willows over the river", but also portrait sketches for the Grimms' fables, and divided into three Bacon's scene in a laughing room, and deserted space where Aphrodite of Milos dreams about tender touches of hands. "Landscapes" are weaved from texts, overwhelmed with a noise of letters and an uproar of "interesting discussions" whose time is marked off by an object - a cube made of welded plastic clocks.
Sagaidakovsky's last project - "Walking along forest paths" (2014) - was a sort of meditation against historical events, without new works. This time almost all works are new while their main motif coordinates with the theme that has already been touched many times. This theme was the most compactly expressed by The Problem (2010), in which according to the artists, "an ear negated a sign [Listen carefully], and a sign negated an ear". "Landscapes" are about the same contradiction with the only difference that now it's raising in well-known context of information noise in a situation when an ear has to overcome sounds in order to listen attentively, and an eye has to struggle with a straightness of image for a skew, to break walls built with bricks of letters in order to notice and read.
Altogether it is an active gardening work, almost tautology in the art field. So rugs, which Sagaidakovsky uses as a base, are mostly weaved as lanes and woods, and are domestic counterparts of gardens, arboreta, forests etc. Moreover, these rugs are additionally seeded with heavy paint, fertilized with oil, weeded several times by a strong artist's hand. Aren't they real landscapes?
Borys Filonenko, 2015