Kyiv. Pavlo Gudimov Ya Gallery Art Centre
29.11.2017 – 30.12.2017
The language both visual and that of everyday life requires turning points. To think of a word-phenomenon and semantically develop it according to the time, context and relations is already the consideration of the meanings that we usually put in linguistic units. To Vlada Ralko, the project continues the line of playing with the well-established notions that the painter started in the previous projects. Thus, the paintings exhibited in Ya Gallery Art Center belong to two series created during 2016-2017: Contact Line and Inventory.
The title of the present exhibition – Solemnity – refers directly to situation- and system-related things. The adjective of this word may be seen most often in such clichés as a solemn opening, a solemn speech or even more common – solemn events. All these phrases are too distant from any spontaneous and especially unauthorised forms of activity. Solemnity becomes connected with the hierarchy and discipline practices that attempt to transform in rituals and festivities.
This title of Vlada Ralko's exhibition also stems from the modern ceremonialism, in particular from the accidentally witnessed and immediately depicted wedding ceremony in Kaniv that became, in a way, an impulse for the artist. The conduct of people who behave in accordance with the canons of solemnity is not that unambiguous. One of the questions that painter asks herself is articulated by the characters of her pictures: “Between one's own and the same". This is the issue of personal marking of time when dates constantly tie us with the past events and make us go back to the situations that really have nothing to do with the present. The fictitious nature of such a ceremonial history links both private and collective memory archives making them inseparable. In case of Ralko, these links are incarnated through the fleshliness and tactility of the images which always intertwine with one another, penetrate to other bodies and grow up out of them, destroy each other and distort the surrounding space. The rituality that solemnity takes advantage of is, as always, on the verge of zest for life and fatality of death and – at last – must assert the mode of existence with the awareness of memento mori.
Vlada Ralko's solemnity is not the gaiety of celebration, it is the inevitability of certain situations. It is the system that absorbs the cycle of events which are key to the assertion of the power of memory and require regular updates in the form of bright and sometimes horrifying images. To break this bond with the signs of the past and lose the ability to honour the mythogenic moments is scary and becomes a real trauma. And this fear transforms into an impetus to solemnity, hierarchy and violence.