Kyiv . Ya Gallery Art Center


Rostyslav Koterlin

12.09.2012 – 11.10.2012

Rostyslav Koterlin

Contemporary artists took many missions upon themselves. Somebody is a demiurge, somebody is a shaman, somebody zealously criticizes capitalism and defends the destitute, somebody is a refined decorator, an installer, another one evokes dreams...

Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center

In old days Italians would say that "illusions are wealth of the poor". The same Italians gave us

utterly high art, extremely sophisticated in its delusiveness and vitality. With a sense of delusion, "illusion" came to French language from Latin, and in the second half of the XIX century in France a word "illusion" was used to define a tippet made of lace or tulle. Later, this word sometimes described a phenomenon that is known today as a cinema.

Much had been said about "illusions", however, there are quotes that can't be omitted: "Art is a fine illusion, a hyperbolic mirror", "Illusions relate to a secret, a mystery. Works without mystery and ability to cause illusion are sentenced to be fictitious existence, visual ephemerality, they are condemned to be their own advertisement" (J. Baudrillard, "Aesthetics of Disillusion").

Contemporary artists took many missions upon themselves. Somebody is a demiurge, somebody is a shaman, somebody zealously criticizes capitalism and defends the destitute, somebody is a refined decorator, an installer, another one evokes dreams and erotic visions, somebody is a branded parlour daubster or a popular taste manipulator. Anyhow, everybody deals with illusions - either with their own or somebody else's ones. As a result, art is expected to do much more than it really can. Everyday industry in a mass way produces images made by means of superficial synthesis of arts. Technical potential makes it possible to manipulate such a notion as an artistic form. Hundreds and hundreds of thousands of visual images that hook the masses just beautifully draw a veil over a real world. At the same time nobody would deny that created by numerous medias outer world with a prefix "hyper" is chaotic and fragmentary anyway. An artist can only draw a world's integrity from a certain point of view and in a certain light. And this light is sudden and momentary like a lightning flash. It is impossible to catch an object totally, and a painting is a too subtle matter to interpret it definitely.

It seems that postmodern situation put an end to illusions, irony and scepsis won, there is nothing real, and if you see something, then it is your another illusion. However, it was revealed that in post-modernism a human being is caught in a trap of a mega-illusion since we think that if something is doubted and mocked, then we are released from the delusion and become free. Suddenly it turned out that such a liberation is a way to an unbearable loneliness, emptiness, disappointment in all forms of socialization.

A human can't be without "delusion". This thing is so primary, like landscapes that surround us and surrounded our ancestors thousands years ago. Their structure is invariable, just many huge glass and concrete boxes were put on their surface. Otherwise, a man found himself to be extremely lonely among millions of other people when there is only "cold starry sky above your head".

Illusion is everywhere. Don Juans whisper ticklish words is women's ears. They don't believe, yet swallow the bait. The most successful politicians use illusions while playing with the masses. If we consider works that endure time, at least 50-year old ones, we realize that primarily illusive ones imprint in the mind. Just smart, documentary works mostly get to the archival shelves. It is ironic that for many years artists use illusion to pull the truth about the world out of space. Illusions underlies whole cultures and civilizations having unbelievable ability to materialize. Thing which looked like fantasts' "trickeries" in the beginning of the XX century, became real at the end of it. Those who claim to be completely delivered from any illusions whether are not entirely truthful or are in captivity of deception which can be paradoxically called "illusion of a loss of illusion". Finally, why can't we sometimes understand irrational actions of people who seem to be clever, progressive, experienced and rational? What controls them at the moment of unexpected and paradoxical acts?

"Deception" is not a fraction, but a big part of human nature and nature in general. We loose our illusions only when our earthly life is over. Perhaps, some very persistent individuals loose their illusions as they become "Übermenschen" (overman or superman). But at the same time they become a total illusion themselves. An artist only sees this and remembers that illusions are such a strong reality. He can make actual any "deceptions" and debunk almost any illusions. With the exception of his own ones.

Rostyslav Koterlin


Born in 1966. Lives and works in Ivano-Frankivsk.

1998 graduated from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, department of journalism.

Koterlin is a researcher and an analyst of processes that take place in contemporary art; he is also an author of essays and articles about artists of Ivano-Frankivsk. Since 1990 he's an organizer and a participant of almost all contemporary art programs and projects in his city.

Since 1999 he edits and publishes an almanac of contemporary visual art "Kinez Kinzem".

16.01.2019 – 11.02.2019
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery
19.10.2016 – 12.11.2016
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center
01.07.2015 – 03.08.2015
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center
25.09.2013 – 14.10.2013
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center
16.02.2011 – 14.03.2011
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center
24.03.2010 – 12.04.2010
Exhibition Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center