Meeting Place is the exhibition of Ukrainian artists with Zhanna Kadyrova, Julia Kostereva, Jura Kruchak, Maxim Lunochkin, Anna Naduda, Ivan Svetlichny Lera Polyanskova, Max Robotov, Jaroslav Kolomiychuk, Denis Salivanov, Victor Kharkevich, Alina Yakubenko.
The current exhibition presents a curatorial experiment with its compositional methodology which resembles an act of knitting, a way of intermingling threads of various hues and textures to arrive to a unified fabric. Thus an exhibition metaphorically becomes a piece of cloth which is, paradoxically, both whole, as it exists as a coherent knitted piece, and porous, as it allows for gaps and pauses between connecting loops of its knitted texture – these moments of interruption and suspense create apertures into other thematic, emotional, and methodological domains.
The first thread is thematic: sociality
How can we learn to be a part of a social organism? In order to become a society member who operates on a level of public discourse and infrastructure, one needs to leave his or her private domain. But where do Ukrainians find themselves when they step over the threshold of their sea-shell houses where they, as some sort of timid underwater creatures, hide from the outer world? In its recent past the country went through the disintegration of the Soviet social infrastructure and, as a consequence, through disappearance of various public spaces which used to demarcate pockets of presence for the Soviet social order. (Let's just recall, for example, numerous Houses of Culture that nowadays either stay in ruins or get appropriated for commercial purposes.) Moreover, under the pressure of private capital Ukrainians keep losing their public spaces: it has become a common occurrence for luxury condominiums to rise on sites of former public parks, botanical gardens, or wildlife conservancy areas. Where do Ukrainians have an opportunity to function as a society – not just as friends or relatives but as a social body? We often encounter others at the shopping malls, cinema theaters, stadiums, or concerts – the sites of consumption of material culture or a spectacle. Do these sites of consumption allow us to envision ourselves as society members whose opinions, willpower, emotional and intellectual experiences matter? Izolyatsi'a current exhibition attempts to create a meeting place where visitors are invited to become a social body which shares a collective experience of listening, contemplating and being imbued with thoughts and emotions.
The second thread is methodological: scientific and artistic consciousness
The exhibition's knitted fabric consists of works that incorporate scientific, technological and artistic modes of operating. A popular belief system often purports irreconcilable differences to scientific and artistic consciousness, with the former, presumably, operating on the logical and rational axes, while the latter adhering to the chaotic, emotional sphere. Contrary to that misunderstanding, scientists and artists possess common research methodologies which circumvent linguistic construction of the world. Of course, one needs language to describe a scientific experiment or an art work. However, language often becomes extraneous if not impeding for practicing science or art. Language codifies certain ideological constructs which.
confines perception to established patterns. Language is not innocent: it forces us to structure our thinking via given concepts. This way it creates a common foundation which on the one hand, enables understanding between people, but on the other hand, it narrows down our perception and delimits the scope of our consciousness. Scientists and artists engage other non-linguistic modes of probing the world: spatial thinking, intuition, emotional and intellectual insights. Thus they create spaces outside of existing ideological fields showing us the way to other levels of perception and awareness.
The third thread is formal: light and sound as sculptural elements
Sculpture serves as a tool for activating three-dimensional space, a method of bringing awareness of the space's parameters and its volume. At the same time sculpture helps us to understand parameters of our own bodies in relation to a three-dimensional space. Sculpture becomes a measuring stick which reveals to people their own physicality. In the current exhibition light and sound turn into such sculptural, installation elements which construct and activate a new architectural setting.
Thus all three threads mingle into a coherent pattern: architectural and sculptural space creates a place which serves as a backdrop for the emergence and functioning of a social body. Light and sound become a bridge between scientific, technical experimentation and art, the combination of which conjures up an unusual, unpredictable location – an unreal, utopian space with a potential to point out a vector of possible social changes. If we can construct a place of the alternative aesthetics it also means that we are able to create and practice a radically different society – a society of the future.
Curator: Olena Chervonik