Kyiv, April 19th, 2007, 5:30 p. m. –The famous Ukrainian artist Andriy Bludov’s personal exhibition opens in the art gallery Collection.
A Kyiv audience will be seeing the series of paintings “Voices” for the first time. 40 images from this series are based on authentic photographs, which portray Ukrainian farmers of the beginning of the XXth century that were transformed into expressive colorful paintings by Bludov.
Andriy Bludov offers his opinion on the problems of identity, history, and memory in his works. Besides old photographs of strangers, kindly provided by the Ivan Honchar Museum, he uses his own photo-archive as well, which were collected during his journeys all over Ukraine. The artist wants to draw attention to the Ukrainian “silver age,” which he believes existed at the beginning of the XXth century, when modern Ukrainian identity came into being at that time. Among other things, he wants to reflect on the imprints left by that “silver age” history on the present.
The cultural reporter and the review author for the “Voices” exhibition catalogue, Serhiy Vasylyev, describes the characters of Bludov’s canvases: “They crossed their arms ceremoniously or laid their hands on their laps, straightened their backs and looked into the glass of the lens sternly without even suspecting a murderous wind is already whistling behind them. And all of them, one by one, will soon be whirled by “hostile whirlwinds,” as the well-known revolutionary song goes, and tortured by revolutions and wars, with fangs like wolves, and pushed by the Cheka officials’ rifle butts into heated commercial vans for deportation, and starved, and subdued by fear, and forced to betray and despise each other. They do not know yet how they will be humiliated. But you stare at their noble placid faces – and you already know everything. You know, those left alive in a physical sense will be killed morally… And suddenly everything turns out to be a mirage.
I would be lying if I declare all those people rescued by the artist Andriy Bludov. They rescued themselves. But one day someone had to explain precisely how they were rescued. They just plunged into multihued eternity. Where over millenia long-winged dragonflies and airplane-like mosquitoes hover, where plants do not wither, and houses stay safe… There chests with family jewels and clothing are not plundered, and every woman remains as beautiful as a bride.”
The art-critic Viktoria Burlaka sees the following in Bludov’s canvases: “The immobile posture of people, posing in old photographs makes them look like icons – in retrospect they seem to grow numb before the apparition of the sacred image. At that mythical time a camera was not just a simple technical “extension” of human capabilities and filled farmers with awe. Their faces reflect tension and dramatic effect in the moment of “transition” to eternal existence. Unique photographs time and again make you ponder over the mystery of life and death, of genetic memory, and simplify the widespread critical remarks directed at photography: they say it “kills” memory and usurps its functions. To the contrary, photography does not try to become “artificial” memory at all, but remains its last bearer when its immediate bearers pass into non-existence…”
The series “Voices” is the echo of many thousands of voices from the beginning of the last century, making us reflect on the present.
The exhibition will last up to May 15th. The catalogue has been issued on the occasion of the exhibition opening.
The gallery Collection is open every day, except Monday, from 10 AM till 7 PM.