Kyiv. Pavlo Gudimov Ya Gallery Art Centre
17.01.2018 – 05.02.2018
While the XXth century was seeking the ways to live with the past, the XXIst century aims to present a plurality of perspectives on what had happened, to construct our own interpretation of the events instead of a long-standing and common History. The Intervention (late Latin “intervenio" — come, intervene) a project by Iryna Kalenyk, a Chernivtsi-based artist, which started back in 2014, a milestone in the Ukrainian history, suggests a subjective way of reading History. It's not about the changes of the epochs, neither about the sequence, nor the cause and effect relation, but rather as if History is hauntingly present by our side in the form of images and senses. This is how interpenetration occurs — the present is nourished with the past events and at the same time we are constantly interfering in its contexture to weave our own self-identification history.
The images expressing different messages are blended in Iryna's graphic artworks, combining both classical and artist's original print. Intervention is taking place: various stylistic quotations different in time are making post-modern interference.
Here we can see a battlefield scene depicted in the style of medieval manuscripts — we cannot tell a foe from a friend — here deceased warriors are taken over by high grass, decorative flowers, in other words they are swallowed up by time, oblivion and obliteration. Here come the images of a totalitarian past — stepping women — are steadily approaching the audience in graceful ranks, carrying their own personal ideology, or here we see the couples waltzing in retro style (reference to the artist's previous project Something about Dance). All these images are “struggling" to gain the attention of the audience, who from the present standpoint all the same are always looking back at the past.
Thus, the historical chronology is transformed into a single time substance. Graphic images, featuring brutal, ruthless and sharp lines that pierce whiteness of the paper (abstract unbiased consciousness that might exist only in theory, in a perfect world), resemble fleshless ghosts of the past, overlaid with ornamental colour prints — playing with individual memories.
This way, colour also performs an organizational or chronological function: the events closer to us either in time or in intensity of expression are much brighter than a monochrome picture of those that we know only from the books.
Repetition of the historical patterns and scenes from artwork to artwork, as well as superposing of the decorative elements (comprehended by the artist herself only) converts a potentially serious research that might be crystalized from the subject of reception of the past, into a playful post-modern narrative, where we hear a vital question: “How should we and why should we intervene over and over again with the bygone times?".