Dnipro. Ya Gallery Art Center
Strolls With Pleasure And Not Without Moral
08.09.2016 – 04.11.2016
Curated by Maria Lanko and Lizaveta German
Group "Group" was founded in 2014 in Lviv as an unstable collective of artists united by love for photography, travelling and ... food. The format of long-term and for now the only project of the “Group" called " Strolls with Pleasure and not without Moral" was born from an ironic proposal to go on picnics and call it art. Invited by an ideologist and a permanent leader of the group Konstiantyn Smolyanynov, anybody interested (and not always personally acquainted with him) within cultural environment of Lviv joined one-day trips to interesting, mysterious and absurd places in Galicia with obligatory local food tasting and aimless at first sight flanerie with a photo camera in hands. The route and plan of such trips is previously known only to Smolyanynov, however they always involve some freedom of improvisation for fellow travelers.
The final product of these trips does not provide any stylistic or thematic integrity, and its aesthetics resembles rather amateur documentation than professional reportage. Cameras focus on notable local landscapes as well as their weedy elements and invited models as well as incidental passersby or participants themselves. Smolyaninov calls the last ones "wanderers", and everything happening during trips - "hiperformance", sarcastically commenting on obsession with terminology, which is characteristic for the world of art. And the biggest horror for him is rearranging gathered material into an exhibition or even just showing it to somebody.
"Strolls ..." in the Ya Gallery art centre in Dnipro is one of the first of such attempts to bring together, organize and present achievements of the most active participants of the "Group" as a united project, though partly contradicting its own logic of spontaneous development and general absence of common visual language among authors. The only structural element in the group's work are the letters that Smolyaninov sent to participants after the "strolls". These texts filled with literary elegance have been since used as description for each "hiperformance" and are presented in the exhibition as integral parts of collective's history.
The main ambition of this exhibition is not demonstration of chronology of events or artistic values of individual photographs, but rather an attempt to convey the subjective experience of co-creators of five performances at intersection of local history expedition, gastro-tour, photography and happening.
Group "Group"- situational gathering of people without permanent membership founded by representatives of photo club "5x5" in Lviv. The only permanent member of the group is photographer Konstiantyn Smolyanynov. Participants of group events included Mariia and Volodymyr Topiy, Olena and Yurii Koval, Myroslava and Mariana Klochko, Kinder Album, Serhii Murallo, Olena Subach, Viacheslav Poliakov, Yurii Yaremchuk, Olha Kraievska, Volodymyr Mazur, Brak Wykonawcy, Halyna Kulyk, Yurii Hrynyk, Vlodko Kaufman and often people unknown to Smolyanynov. Documentation of projects was presented at the group exhibition Pavshyno Kunstverein under the biennale "Kyiv School" (Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany) in 2015 and in project "Degree of dependence" in festival "European Cultural Capital" (gallery Awangarda BWA, Wroclaw, Poland ) in 2016.
Independent curatorial team of Lizaveta German and Maria Lanko works at the intersection of exhibition, research and (self-) educational practices independently and in situational partnership with artists, other curators and institutions of different profiles and sizes. It was founded by female graduates of the first specialized educational and practical course "Curatorial Platform" (PinchukArtCentre) in Ukraine in January 2014. Curatorial work of this team is based on gradual research of Modern Art of Ukraine and its recent history in close connection with the socio-political reality and institutional development. One of their main tools for research is project "Open Archive" - an online platform openarchive.com.ua with profiles of artists, that is developing in a structure of "family tree" and follows a principle of self-description.