Scenery. Welcome!

Exhibition September 18, 2020 − January 24, 2021
"Mystetsky Arsenal" presents an exhibition of the contemporary Ukrainian artist Andrey Sagaydakovsky"Scenery. Welcome!"... This is the first large exhibition in the Arsenal of a living contemporary, whose works are presented on 4 thousand square meters of exhibition space.

Exhibition “Decorations. Welcome!" - this is a project that famous Ukrainian curators Solomiya Savchuk, Alexander Solovyov and Pavel Gudimov worked on. The exposition consists of collections of works from private collections and galleries; the exhibition also features installations created on site by the author himself.

Andrey Sagaidakovsky is one of the brightest representatives of the Ukrainian underground of the 80s and a pioneer of Ukrainian installation. His works were first presented in his native Lviv in the 1990s, then there was an exhibition in Warsaw, and in 2015 the artist performed with the Polish pavilion at the International Festival of Arts in Venice.
The artist is connected with the Mystetsky Arsenal not only by the current project. In 2012, Andrei Sagaidakovsky became a laureate of the First Kiev International Biennale of Contemporary Art ARSENALEAWARDS 2012 in the category "Discovery of 2012".

Sagaidakovsky's sets are a metaphor for “life as a theater,” and the author invites the viewer to play with him, not being particularly carried away by the search for high meanings and interpretations. To create a gaming experience, the curatorial group made the most of the space of the Arsenal: the suite system of halls immerses the visitor in new conditions every time. And the works themselves, painted in the traditional artist technique with the use of carpets, become the scenery. The carpet is a self-sufficient image of the entire Soviet era, but the author further enhances the color of this material with catchy images: children, recognizable Soviet slogans, instructions from “parents” ... The effect is enhanced by the kitschy, dynamic presentation of the material.

Among all the works, several thematic areas can be distinguished, united by style. First of all, this is the body as a fragment. Starting with two huge heads, which conduct a silent but colorful dialogue at different ends of the hall, and ending with fragments-accents of legs, arms and ears that live their own lives. The curators themselves call this technique "body studios or anatomical balancing act."

The second bright theme is children. Sagaidakovsky's children completely change the idea of a carefree childhood, they are often victims of parental morality, the system, the country and the historical context. They are sad and funny at the same time, playing yard games and serious in an adult way.

The third leitmotif of the exposition is sports, or rather, Soviet sports. Large-scale installations using sports equipment, which was specially brought from the region where the artist lives, create an atmosphere on the one hand of the spirit of the era ("Faster! Higher! Stronger!"), And on the other - a feeling of devastation and decay of any beliefs of that time.

The mirror room, which the author created right on the spot, during the preparation of the exhibition, deserves special attention. Huge mirrors, in which due to turbidity it is impossible to see the image, only colored silhouettes, - they confirm the concept of inaccuracy, blur, playfulness of the perception of the world. The only adult, fully-fledged, serious character of the exhibition is suddenly Jimmy Hendrix, whose huge poster is located at the end of the exhibition. Next to him is the author's guitar.

Especially for the opening, within the framework of the educational program "Elective", the organizers held lectures on the artist's work and understanding the period of Ukrainian culture in the 80s and 90s. However, the exhibition is so harmoniously structured that it does not require additional explanations from the curators. Getting into the space of the Arsenal, you immediately become both a spectator, and a participant, and a critic of the "performance" - this is the effect that was conceived by Andrey Sagaidakovsky himself.

The retrospective project of the Lviv master will be open in Kiev until January 24, 2021, and the exposition is also available online as a 3D tour.

Author: Anna Denisenko.