Vladimir Budnikov, Vlada Ralko

A perilous rift is born of the ambiguity of war and peace, the abyss that the essence sinks into. It perishes while the world scatters in panic. In the spaces that we expected to offer us the salvation of values opens the abyss, an absence, an unsprung trap. We slip into the rift between wrongdoing and the crime of omission. The first year of the war might have passed, but that doesn’t make it any more normal. Time slows down and replicates, day in day out, its soggy banality. We are almost out of rage, fire and enthusiasm, with nothing but mounting exhaustion to replace them. We grow used to anxiety, yet numbness does little to protect. We grow used to grief, yet that doesn’t help either: on the contrary, grief accumulates, adds up, crystallizes.

We got trapped in the time that goes stale and rots without changing. We are so worn down by anxiety that we want to escape not only the war, but also the peace that nurtures the war. Whence does danger come? Even peace is a danger, frayed as it is by the unwavering threat of a yet bigger war. Our chimaera of peace festers in borrowed time, and we’ll yet have to pay for it. When Bomb Shelter markings started cropping up on the walls in Kyiv, it seemed like a quaint anachronism, a thing straight out of civic defense classes in Soviet schools. Bomb shelters for air raids reminded us that we do still have a quantity of calm, set aside against a rainy day. It’s symbolic that occasionally the markings led nowhere, with not a shelter in sight. 


Vladimir Budnikov, Vlada Ralko


Amid dramatic and tragic events in Ukraine the important, even painful question arises - where artistic statement is contained - as if it has no place in today's reality, which surpasses itself every day in the manifestations of cruelty. But if the language, reversing its own borders, becomes equal with a reality in absurdity and unpredictability and even violence, it certainly would have been a poetic language. Moreover, the fluid poetic image represents reality, such as landscape or a man - and not vice versa.

Trying to lock Shevchenko in museums and books, strangle him in a noisy commemoration, disable live text by tearing at the dead quotes, empty due to the long lost contents, once again we failed. Shevchenko again resigned and went out on his own anniversary celebration with his tears laughing.



Oleksandr Babak

Kaniv entered the life of Oleksandr Babak as an integral part of the academic curriculum. Here students of the Kyiv State Art Institute, which was established back in 1930 by then rector Fedor Krichevskyi, passed their summer practice. The assistant of the latter, then known Ukrainian artist Sergii Grigiriev recalls the vital role of this practice, because it was held in a picturesque corner, blessed by the Chernecha Mountain, and their teachers worked next to the students.

36 years after Oleksandr, arrived to Kaniv at the invitation of Iurii Stashkiv, the owner of Art Hotel "Knyazha Hora" and the gallery "Chervonechorne", observing wasteland at the place of former institute base. The author's text is full of exciting memories, helps to understand not only the creative achievements of last September, but the main direction of his searches today. 




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