The Many Faces of Ukrainian Pictures In the present day

PHILADELPHIA — Ukrainian Pictures In the present day, although small (it consists of 23 pictures in all), packs fairly a punch. Organized by Irina Glik, a Ukrainian-American photographer and author from Kyiv, and the Print Middle’s curator, Ksenia Nouril, the present options work by 4 lady photographers from totally different areas of Ukraine.

Many of the works on view solid a backward look on the eight-year-long armed battle that was a prelude to Russia’s full-scale, brutal invasion of Ukraine final February.

Some widespread themes echo throughout the present — a seek for nationwide and private identification; childhood, youth, and motherhood in wartime; loss and reconnection — however the exhibition is much less an exploration of a unified motif than a illustration of the totally different conceptual and aesthetic frameworks wherein artists are working in immediately’s Ukraine.

Alena Grom, “Ancestral Ward. Donbas. Selidovo / Entrance to the Cemetery. Donbas. Novotroitsk,” from the collection Pendulum (2018)

Battle is omnipresent in highly effective diptychs by Alena Grom, a documentary photographer who was born in Donetsk and fled the Donbas area in 2014. Every {photograph} shows the formalist detachment of somebody who has been made an outsider in her personal land, mixed with the deep sympathy and identification of a local who has watched Russia’s destruction and cruel repression of her personal area and folks. The diptychs, from the collection Pendulum, pair a picture of a wartime wreck with a toddler’s portrait. The one exception is a bleak Soviet-era hospital ward set in opposition to a picture of an Orthodox cemetery. The cemetery’s rounded, blue-green gate echoes the ward’s steel mattress in form and colour — the 2 silent tableaux hinting on the interconnection that exists between their areas.

Yelena Yemchuk’s work is an immigrant’s love letter to Odesa. Yemchuk left her native Kyiv for the USA within the early Eighties and traveled to Ukraine extensively after the Maidan revolution to doc Odessan youth — youngsters present process army coaching, younger lovers, children trying to find themselves in a rustic trying to find a brand new, post-Soviet identification. Her images learn like movie stills: they beckon viewers to tease out the larger tales and lives coiled inside their frozen milliseconds. 

Yelena Yemchuk, “Lera,” from the collection Odesa (2016)

Kateryna Yermolaeva turns inward to discover her personal conflicting polyphony of what she calls her “sub-personalities”: 9 avatars — ladies, males, nonbinary individuals, youngsters — every with a singular title, character traits, gown, and props that embody some facet of the artist’s life. The undertaking is each a self-inquiry and an try to seek out deeper resonances between one’s fractured inside panorama and the myriad aspects of Ukraine’s collective psyche. 

Oksana Parafeniuk bridges a long time of time in a single picture. In a collection entitled Wood Field of Pictures, the artist fuses her family’s black and white Soviet-era footage with modern-day portraits of a Ukrainian household displaced by the battle. Embedding the displaced relations, who’ve lately misplaced their residence, into pictures of her personal distant household previous, she shelters the refugees within the nooks and crannies of reminiscence. The now and then come into intimate contact to disclose a narrative about one’s roots, uprootedness, and the facility of connection throughout time.

Kateryna Yermolaeva, “Edik,” from the collection Me, Myself, and I (2018)

Ukrainian Pictures In the present day continues at The Print Middle (1614 Latimer Road, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) via November 12. The exhibition was curated by Dr. Ksenia Nouril with Irina Glik as exhibition advisor.

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