Khmelnytskyi. Khmelnytskyi Oblast Art Museum
18.05.2016 – 16.08.2016
About three years Andriy and Oksana Khir were studied the demonology of the Carpathians to present the project “Superstitions" in Kyiv Ya Gallery Art Center for the first time in 2015. A year later, within the walls of Khmelnytskyi Oblast Art Museum in an extended format, reducing the mileage of exhibition space in the direction of the Western cosmology area.
The artist calls the project “amateur ethnography", a fundamental principle of which is a text written more than a century ago. So when Andriy Khir focuses on demonology in the project “Superstitions", he refers to the works, such as “Notes on Ukrainian Demonology" V. Hnatyuk, “Materials to Ukrainian Ethnology" A. Onischuk and “Hutsulshchyna" V. Shukhevych and other works and authors. Hence, the so-called “semi-scientificity" of the project, as the author says, because the artistic language is caused by the authentic quotations from researches. Consequently, as a result of this work nothing else but “image strung on a text" is crystallized.
Therefore, giving preference to the word, the artist immediately falls in trend. The point is not only that a word has always had a sacred meaning. Despite the century “without God", the man has continued unconsciously to cultivate faith in the power of words. But only instead of folk superstitions it believes in the advertising slogans. However, the old beliefs have continue to work out in the depth of its cultural memory. Although the mythological consciousness is not popular in the modern society, its fragments are inscribed in the genetic memory and impact on society and its latent transformation. So Andriy Khir expects the reaction of “recollection", offering the viewer a visual “book" of the Ukrainian ancient beliefs. While the “superstitious" theme does not lose touch with the everyday life.
When we talk about the art method of Andriy Khir, we focus on two main principles. Firstly, handling with the text by the author as unconditionality, peremptory constant or, in the words of Boris Groys, “ready-made". Secondly, we focus on the mechanism of action of such phrases, such as “There is a place of evil spirits, where the devil stays. In those places only the elder usually grows." or “The mountains made it out of that the devil spat". In other words, components of one formulation appear not as a generalized abstraction, but images, which take absolutely a particular form.
The project “Superstitions", in contrast to previous project “Proverbs" (2013), was drawn up with various media: painting, drawing, objects and artbook. Actually, the emergence of books, masks and spatial objects in the project “Superstitions" is associated with the search for new ways of narration and, accordingly, insufficiency only of painting or drawing.
So the outcome of this story for us and the researcher-artist Andriy Khir is that the author finds on the interdisciplinary level another, because still not the last key to the range of original views on the universe, which by this time was for many people under seven seals. But as not all keys are collected - Andriy Khir takes on their search without unnecessary delay.