Dnipropetrovsk. Ya Gallery art center
04.02.2016 – 17.03.2016
A predator can't eat meat
How many meanings are in Dmytro Moldovanov's new project Victim? Such an extensional name can relate to both description of Jesus's character and criminology. And the artist as a representative of New Naїve reveals this notion through the most natural and, at first glance, the simplest thing - an animal as a link in a food chain.
Images of animal fights are found as early as in primitive art. Moldavanov's works have been focusing on this topic for a couple of years. Social disturbance and injustice, shown via remakes of famous canvases in The Museum Syndrome project of 2013, transformed into severity and competition in the animal world in last year's project The Name of My Fear that took place in Kyiv. Now a viewpoint is changing and both the author and his spectator find themselves on the other side of violence.
The artist creates his works in the style that is called art brut. Preys on his canvases are purified from any cultural influence, they are neither sacral nor shameful. Instincts are the only reason that controls these beasts. However, a contemporary spectator is far from his natural condition. Although depicted animals are emotionless, there is a desire to see the expression of a prey's fear or a predator's aggression. It becomes an ideal background for creating one's own symbols: for example, there are origins for a sacrifice of atonement where a murderer isn't accused but becomes an inseparable part for maintaining harmony. The sun, moon and stars - elements that are repeated in every painting - stand for the idea of the outer space and become this project's connectors.
The victim faces a paradox which is expressed through an absolutely opposite attitude towards it: from sacralization to hatred since the prey is an evident witness of how unavoidable violence is. "If men wish to prevent an interminable outbreak of vengeance (just as today we wish to prevent nuclear war), it is not enough to convince their fellows that violence is detestable - for it is precisely because they detest violence that men make a duty of vengeance."* Recurrence of the act of violence puts the prey in an ambivalent position.
Complicated philosophy of sacrifice is revealed in Dmytro Moldovanov's works with the help of primitivism, since the simpler a symbol is, the more meanings it may contain. As well as it may cast aside any cultural layers and let oneself perceive an animal prey as a part of a wild nature only.
*Girard, Réne (2005). Violence and the Sacred. New York: Continuum. - p.15.