Kyiv. Pavlo Gudimov Ya Gallery Art Centre
07.03.2018 – 26.03.2018
'Blessed are they, whom grace
Doth so illume, that appetite in them
Exhaleth no inordinate desire,
Still hung'ring as the rule of temperance wills.'
Dante Alighieri, the Divine Comedy (Purgatory), 1308-1321
The nature created a human an egoistic creature whose actions are always intended to satisfy their own physiological and psychological needs. However, unlike animals, consumption is also a pleasure which, if excessive, may turn into the 'painful' hedonism. Dmytro Moldovanov's new project is the author's contemplation of the most common vicious passion – gluttony – and it's Aftertaste which goes beyond the usual interpretation of this deadly sin.
The author focuses on the problems of overwhelming variety and information overload that have become synonymous with the modern society. Under these conditions, it is very hard to remain indifferent and refrain from consumption as humans are naturally inclined to temptation. Using symbols as a way of publicly displaying the unconscious thoughts, Dmytro Moldovanov attempts to convey the tragedy of the vice of insatiability (not only in the sense of gluttony per se) and have a moral dialogue with a viewer about other pressing issues. A knife, blood, a wound – a real liver and stomach pain after overeating, animals know no limits in engorging themselves , and people are observers who will inevitably share the fate of the representatives of fauna – madness in pursuing a prey and obedience to the stronger. The artists unveils the duality of a conscious character which in virtue of its biological origin and the lack of proper self-discipline can break down and come to the basic instincts, playing the role of the top of the iceberg in a 'food' chain. Dmytro Moldovanov also intentionally introduces a covert dichotomy in one meaning plane, for instance: milk and fish, pastry and a herring, ice cream and raw meat, which on combining constitute the absurdity and recklessness of human propensities to 'satisfy thirst' for pleasure. It is not about banal gorging oneself on some food, it is the aftertaste – a collective obsession with emotional self-devouring and absence of empathy with the people around, which results in the identification of the animal with the human.
Dmytro Moldovanov's project comes as sort of a reprise of Aristotle's reflections in his Nicomachean Ethics: '…to eat or drink of whatever is set before you till you can hold no more is to exceed what is natural in point of quantity, for natural desire or appetite is for the filling of our want simply. And so such people are called 'belly-mad,' implying that they fill their bellies too full*.' Both the antique philosopher and the representative of the new naïve try to convey one major thought – in order to exist, there is no need to run to extremes, either physical pleasures (gluttony) or moral 'vampirism' turning a human being into an emotional victim. In a wider sense, Aftertaste is the metaphor of all sins of the modern society that devours itself and goes back to its origins – primitive instincts.
* Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics / Αριστοτελους. Ηθικα Νικομαχεια