Sergiy Lebedynskyy TIHA JE UKRAJINSKA NOČ “Quiet is the Ukrainian night”

2017-09-23 19:00

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy

 

TIHA JE UKRAJINSKA NOČ

 

 

 

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy

 

Predstavlja znane in nove projekte Sergiya Lebedynskyya : Zdravilna blata, „Euromaidan: Ob zori, Praoblike (MOJE?) vojne in UPA Hände Hoch (s skupino Shilo). Razstava Tiha je ukrajinska noč vabi k potovanju skozi današnji ukrajinski postsovjetski teren.

 

Tatyana Pavlova

 

Ukrajinska noč Sergiya Lebedynskyya

 

Obstajajo umetniki, ki upodabljajo svet kot notranjost lastnega jaza. Fotografija Sergiya Lebedynskyyja  ni zasidrana v njegovem lastnem domu, realnem ali domišljijskem. Nasprotno, je nenehno gibanje, predstavljeno z vrsto tem in motivov, ki generirajo več kronotopov.

 

Harkov je vzhodno ukrajinsko mesto s starodavnimi kozaški običaji (ki izvirajo iz 17. stoletja) in univerzo, odprto leta 1805 (z aktivno udeležbo nemških znanstvenikov). Potencial mesta se je razkril na poseben način ob začetku 20. stoletja, ko je v času boljševiške moči ta pomembna strateška točka na meji z Rusijo dobila status glavnega mesta. Po porazu ukrajinske renesanse je bila intelektualna in ustvarjalna elita usmrčena ali  izgnana v  Gulag,  glavno mesto pa premeščeno v Kijev (1934). Vsi spomini o briljantnem avantgardnem obdobju so bili brutalno izbrisani, mesto pa je bilo mnogo let zaprto za tujce.

 

Resničnost avtorjeve osebne usode z vsemi njenimi spremembami se odraža v preobrazbi prostora in časa fotografij. Najprej so to bila študentska leta na Harkovskem inštitutu za promet, nato študij v Nemčiji na Brandenburški tehniški univerzi, kjer je avtor doktoriral in so mu ponudili  službo. Kasneje se je nostalgično vračal v Harkov in v kraj počitnic svojega otroštva, Arabatski rt  v Azovskem morju (Zdravilna blata, 2008-2013). Poleg teh so bila še virtualna potovanja s skupino Shilo: potovanje travestije v prihodnost, v plastičnem telesu političnega vodje (Tymoshenkov pobeg, 2012) in v “telesu” knjige Borisa Mikhailova Nedokončana teza (Dokončana dizertacija, 2012). Temu je sledilo še časovno potovanje,  tokrat v preteklost: pot v Ukrajino 1940, v čas ukrajinske uporniške vojske (UPA), v njihovih bojnih oblačilih (UPA Hände Hoch!, 2013); in končno še prisotnost na trgu Maidan  v Kijevu leta 2014 (Euromaidan: Ob svitu) ter na vojnem območju v zavzetem Donbassu (ATO), ki predstavljata točko iniciacije in samoopredelitve,  polno tveganja in nevarnosti.

 

Harkov je tranzitno mesto, ki leži na poti do velikega sveta in ne pomeni le največjega potovanja, ampak se sooča tudi s težavami časa: s svojimi premori, odlogi, vrnitvami  in postanki na določenih točkah tega harkovskega prostora in onstranstva. Zakaj se zgodba tega mesta osredotoči na podobo psa, ki teka po nočnih ulicah? Je to zaradi izražanja čustva teka - pojasnitev trajanja, gibanja v razvoju - v nočnem mestu? Ampak to so tudi konstante provincialnega kronotopa s svojim cikličnim časom (M. Bakhtin). Harkov je ukrajinsko mesto, spremenjeno v sovjetsko provinco, s pretrgano komunikacijo, vodoravno in navpično, ki je sprejelo značilnosti pozne “stalinistične gotike”. Mesto, v katerem so spomini na najsvetlejšo porast ukrajinske književnosti in umetnosti  dvajsetih  let prejšnjega stoletja bili prisilno izkoreninjeni.

 

Zaradi izjemnega dela nekonformistične harkovske skupine Vremya in pred vsem Borisa Mikhailova, ki se začne v poznih šestdesetih 20. stoletja, je podoba Harkova izrazito turobna, kar je najbolj očitno v MIkhailovi Anamnezi posvečeni  mestnim brezdomcem zgodnjega kapitalizma v Ukrajini devetdesetih let 20. stoletja. Za dinamično fotografijo Sergiya Lebedynskyya, ki tako kot kardiogram zariše notranjo melodijo nenehnega gibanja, pojem noči postaja posebej rodoviten. Vidimo, kako v slikah, v katerih je zajeta njegova domovina, prav v jedru te trzajoče pokrajine, v dvojni perspektivi njenega nočnega pejsaža, pride v ospredje in izgine v senci, se vzpenja in pada notranji jaz, proces dihanja osebnosti. Gre za izdihovanje stare Ukrajine, tiste, s katero je avtor povezan z rojstvom, in vdihovanje nove Ukrajine,  katere obstoj  je v veliki meri odvisen od avtorjeve generacije.

 

Med množico obskurnih zgodbic so nekatere, ki zahtevajo različne oblike pozornosti. Ozek žarek svetlobe osvetli psa, osamljenega mimoidočega, drevo z vejami, ki se maje v nočnem vetru. Ulične svetilke pogosto delujejo kot glavni junaki (neki pisec je nekoč dejal, da v Harkovu ni dovolj uličnih svetilk). Ena izmed teh slik je zelo sugestivna v svoji depresivni temi, navdihnjena z medlim sijem  redkih luči, ki utripajo v temi peklenske (kljub poledenelim tlom) pokrajine. Postopna narava majhnega dela zajame nov, nostalgičen status pokrajine kot večno izmikajoče se podobe domovine. Pomen te fotografije se lahko primerja z melodijo, ki zajame glavni namen večje glasbene oblike. Takšne replike in odmeve lahko slišimo v različnih projektih Sergiyja Lebedynskyyja.

 

Na drugi fotografiji je most preko reke, ene od treh srednje velikih rek Harkova, ki tvorijo vodni zemljevid mesta,  nepompozen, ampak eleganten na svoj način. Vzorec svetlobe okrepi plastičnost parapeta mosta, okrašenega s sovjetskimi simboli, ter skicira s pretirano togostjo žitnega klasa v prepoznavnem emblemu Sovjetske zveze. Ta simbol, tako predvidljivo povezan s travmatično zapuščino iz minulega obdobja, in njegova vsiljiva ikonografija, ki je prepoznavna celo ponoči, je prevzela agresivne lastnosti, skoraj kot svastika tretjega Reicha. Ne le srp in kladivo, grozeče obešena čez globus (orodje ali orožje?), ampak tudi najmiroljubnejši del sovjetskega državnega simbola, pšenična polja postopoma začnejo izgledati kot vojaška bodala.

 

Čustveno barvanje fotografij Sergiya Lebedynskyya je večinoma odvisno od posebne tiskarske tehnike. Ta ustvarja dodatno vizualno strukturo, ki se izogiba popačenju v njuni interpretaciji. Zabrisane podobe težkih časov, v katerih fantomske strukture, ki so se naselile v resničnost, postanejo vidnejše. Fotografije so bile posnete v nevpadljivi razsvetljavi ponoči, a tudi tiste, ki so bile posnete podnevi, so natisnjene v “nočnem” slogu, s potopljenimi sencami in lahkimi predmeti, ki so bili zmanjšani v svoji osvetljenosti proti sivi, kakor izgledajo ponoči. Ta tehnika minimizira prepoznavnost majhnih podrobnosti in tako posploši kompozicijo, ki še poudari podobo.

 

Za razliko od slik, ki zajamejo dokumentarni trenutek, so te opazne zaradi svojih demonstrativno ne-fotografskih kakovosti, usmerjenih k umetniški praksi. To nam omogoča ločiti fotografa od nesprejemljive slike resničnosti, ki je zaradi takšne tehnike zavrnjena. Ampak kaj jo naredi nesprejemljivo? Ali je to le ukrajinska resničnost, ki ni sprejeta v tistem, kar podaja?

 

 

Ali smo zmožni,  ko spremenimo položaj in se premaknemo k drugemu kontekstu, sprejeti novo resničnost skupaj s sledmi svojih spominov? Večina mladih Ukrajincev, ki so imeli priložnost študirati v Evropi in so se tam ustalili, ne pozabi svoje domovine in so kakor lastovke, ki pridejo do hladnih pokrajin, da odložijo svoje goliče, vračajo se, da realizirajo svoje najdrznejše zamisli. Kako se to prikaže v umetnosti? V primeru Sergiya Lebedynskyya se to manifestira na kompleksen način, s posredovanjem psihološkega vzorca “otroštvo”. Vendar namesto regresije v “otročje” vidimo posebno “regresijo” umetniškega jezika v teh kreacijah. V nostalgičnih fotografijah opazimo abolicijo sedanjega statusa resničnosti, namernega zmanjšanja, vrnitve v protojezik, otrokov jezik fotografiranja, če ta sploh obstaja. To tudi pojasni vrnitev v nekatere teme in tehnike, lokalne  značilnosti harkovske šole fotografiranja, na primer uporaba “Horizon” kamere v Arabatstem rtu. Panoramsko fotografiranje je postalo opazna značilnost harkovske šole fotografiranja: v Violini E. Pavlova (1972), in v slikah V. Kochetova iz poznih osemdesetih  20. stoletja, vendar je postalo najbolj znano v delih B. Mikhailova: Pri tleh (1991) in Ob mraku (1993). 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy se je pridružil temu seznamu.

 

V nasprotju z nostalgičnimi slikami  ostale serije z odprtostjo in preglednostjo predstavljajo drugačen slog fotografiranja. UPA Hände Hoch! je ena od njih(z Shilo skupino, 2013). Vsaka zgodba je očitna prav v prvem trenutku in ni jo potrebno analizirati. Ironija, s katero avtorji umeščajo sebe v namišljeno prizorišče bojišča, jim omogoča tudi, da se predstavijo kot gledalci v teh postavitvah.

Fotografska plastičnost se razkrije v svetu jukstapozicije, ki povezuje težave neodvisnosti Ukrajine med sovjetskim obdobjem s sedanjim položajem, kot poseben način spominjanja na te dogodke. Sergiy Lebedynskyy je del Shilo skupine, s katero deli skupne koncepte ter se udeležuje vseh njenih združenih projektov, ki pogosto predstavljajo prostor za igro. Med drugim igra razkrije trenutek narcizma, ki je neločljivo povezan s harkovsko fotografijo in ji da poseben šarm,  kadar je  tema uporabljena kot oster izraz oblike nekonformizma in preživetja v ozračju psihološkega pritiska na umetnikovo osebnost.

 

Je res pomembno, da je večina fotografij Sergiya Lebedynskyya posneta v tako tragično pomenljivem prostoru, kot je današnja Ukrajina? Motivi fotografij so zaznamovani z nesrečo vojne - zrušene stavbe, sledi obupanosti in opustelosti, kot jih vidimo v naslednji seriji, posvečeni dogodkom v Ukrajini po kijevskem Maidanu leta 2014. Serija Sergiya Lebedynskyya Euromaidan je tudi nočna pokrajina, ki prikaže vzdušje strašanskega dima požganih gum na barikadah  in spaja kulturno krajino evropskega trga - vrata stadiona Dinamo, stebrišče Narodnega muzeja, okrašenega z levi - s pokrajino smrti.  Velikanski medvedek, prikazen tega dela (Maskota nogometnega moštva ali lik z otroške zabave?) je tako izven pro-stora v tem trgu polnem dima … Vendar nikjer  tema ni tako samoumevna kot v seriji Praoblike (Moje?) vojne. Številke so najučinkovitejše, ko govorimo o vojni. Vojna se ocenjuje s številom izgubljenih življenj, uničevanjem in nasiljem ter katastrofalnim poslabšanjem kakovosti življenja. Kaj o resničnem obsegu ukrajinske tragedije govori glasneje kot dejstvo o več kot 10.000 mrtvih? Govoreč o temi, tako aktualni za Ukrajino, Sergiy Lebedynskyy tudi posega po jeziku statistike, le da prevaja količino v kakovost.

 

Serija Praoblike (Moje?) vojne je kombinacija številnih grafičnih projekcij, ki jih nekdo lahko dobi s fotografijo. Avtor nalaga ogromno slik vojne v Ukrajini (do 100 v eni projekciji), ki jih je našel s pomočjo Googla. Te predstavljajo določene vojaške predmete (tank, figura borca, bojišče itd.). V tem “povprečju odvečnih signalov” (S. Lebedynskyy) se vojna prikazuje kot dinamika resničnosti, zložena v en okvir, dinamika smrti ter praktična lekcija o dematerializaciji. Fotografija postane slika preobrazbe časa v prostor in nadaljnjega prepogibanja tega prostora, ki ne spada več v svet dolžin in trajanj, usmerjenega v prihodnost,  kot dokončno stapljanje v smisel “končnega” okvirja.

 

Zanimivo je, kako drugačne so te slike od klasičnih sovjetskih fotografij druge svetovne vojne Vladimira Yudina (Mlajši narednik Nikolai Polikarpov v strelnem položaju blizu Kijeva) ali  Borisa Sheinina (Prapor zmage), ko pride do “nemške invazije Sovjetske zveze” ali “poraza sovražnika”. V teh slikah so “resnica” in “pravičnost”, “dobro” in “zlo” prikazani s skrajno jasnostjo. A podatki o invaziji neke države z ruskimi četami danes, v času hibridnih vojn, nihajo med “ja” in “ne”, kot prhutanje drhteče resničnosti na robu neobstoja v naloženih fotografijah z Googla.

 

Ko se osredotočimo na formalni aspekt fotografij Sergiya Lebedynskyyja iz serije Praoblike (Moje?) vojne, vidimo množico robov, ki  trčijo z obliko, neskončno raznolikost črt, ki niso značilnost fotografije. Povezave med njimi so brez racionalnega pomena in utirajo pot v simboličen začetek  samostojnega področja. Simptomatično je, da takšna struktura kliče po integrirani stilistiki kubizma -futurizma ali poskusih v fotografiji  zgodnjega 20. stoletja. Tako nas avtor napoti k umetnostnim praksam začetka 20. stoletja, ko je tema vojne, ki so je že futuristi razkrili v teoriji, bila utelešena v resničnih dogodkih prve svetovne vojne. Te prakse 20. stoletja, ki so se pojavile na pragu svetovne vojne so bile metoda nameskega sporočila. Danes, po 100 letih, sporočilo Praoblik (Moje?) vojne Sergiya Lebedynskyya spet združuje prostor in čas. A kaj bi morali storiti, da bi pobrali in udomačili raztresena semena razdora iz Pandorine skrinjice, kako  “uročiti“ vojno ? Kot da bi naredili magičen zaključek duha vojne, kot duh v steklenici, v le enem edinem okvirju, Sergiy Lebedynskyy pravi: “Po nekaj desetih posnetkih stisnjenih v enem sem dobil abstraktno sliko vojne v Ukrajini, njeno skupno praobliko. V končni sliki lahko prepoznamo le črto obzorja, slika je videti bolj pokrajina kot akcijsko prizorišče. Zdi se kot zabrisan odprt prostor, kot da ni bilo nobene vojne.”

 

 

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy

 

“Quiet is the Ukrainian night”

 

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy

 

Featuring Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s known and new projects: „Healing Muds“, Euromaidan: At the Break of Dawn“, „Archetypes of (MY?) War“ and „UPA Hände Hoch (with Shilo Group)“ exhibition „Quiet is the Ukrainian Night“ invites to a journey over the today’s Ukraine post-soviet terrain. 

 

Tatyana Pavlova

 

Ukrainian Night of Sergiy Lebedynskyy

 

There are artists that depict the world as the interior of their own selves. Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s photography is not anchored to his own home, real or imaginary. On the contrary, it is a continuous movement represented by a scale of themes and motives that generate several chronotopes. 

First of all, Kharkiv is an eastern Ukrainian city with ancient Cossack traditions (dating back to the 17th century) and a university, opened in 1805 (with active participation of German scientists). The potential of the city was unlocked in a special way at the beginning of the 20th century, when at the time of the Bolshevik power this important strategic point at the border with Russia received capital status. After the defeat of the Ukrainian Renaissance, the intellectual and creative elite was executed or exiled to the Gulag, and the capital was moved to Kiev (1934). All the memories about the brilliant avant-garde period were brutally erased, and the city was closed off for foreigners for many years.

The reality of the author’s personal fate with all its changes is reflected in the transformation of space and time of the photographs. First there were student years at the Kharkiv Road Institute, then studying at the Brandenburg University of Technology in Germany, where the author proceeded to a PhD and was offered a job; after that there were nostalgic come-backs to Kharkiv and to a place of childhood vacations - The Arabat Spit in the Sea of Azov (“Healing Muds”, 2008-2013). Besides, there were virtual tours done together with Shilo group: a travesty journey to the future, in plastic body of a political leader (“Tymoshenko’s Escape”, 2012) and in the “body” of Boris Mikhailov’s book “Unfinished Thesis” (Finished Dissertation, 2012). Then there was another time machine journy, but into the past this time: a tour to Ukraine of the 1940s, the time of Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), wearing its fighters’ garment (“UPA Hände hoch!”, 2013); and finally there were raids to Kyiv Maidan 2014 (“Euromaidan: At the Break of Dawn”), and to the war zone in the occupied Donbass (“ATO”), both of which were marking the line of initiation and self-identification, and were full of risk and danger. 

 

So, Kharkiv is a transit city, lying on the way to the big world. which means not only the biggest journey, but also facing the problem of time: with its pauses, postponements, come-backs, and stopovers at certain points of this Kharkiv space and beyond. Why does the story of this city focus on the image of a dog running through night streets? Is this to convey the feeling of the run - the unfolding of the duration, the developing movement - in the night city? But these are also constants of provincial chronotope, with its cyclic time (M. Bakhtin). Kharkiv is a Ukrainian city, turned into a Soviet province with severed communications - horizontally and vertically - that has captured the features of the late “Stalinist Gothic” within itself. The city in which the memory of the brightest upsurge of Ukrainian literature and art of the 1920s was forcibly eradicated. 

 

Due to the incredible efforts of non-conformist Kharkiv group Vremya and, first of all, Boris Mikhailov, starting from the late 1960s the representation of Kharkiv has an exceptionally negative coloring, which is most evident in his “Case History”, dedicated to urban homeless people of early capitalism in Ukraine in the 1990s. For dynamic photography of Sergiy Lebedynskyy that just like cardiogram delineates the inner melody of continuous movement, the concept of the night became especially fruitful. We see how in the pictures in which his Motherland is depicted, in the very core of this flickering landscape, in the double perspective of its night scenery, comes to the fore and disappears in the shadow, rises and goes down the inner self, the process of breathing of a personality. It is about exhaling the old Ukraine - the one with which the author is connected by birth, and inhaling the new Ukraine, the very existence of which is largely incumbent on the author’s generation.

 

Among the multitude of obscure plots there are some that require various forms of attention. A narrow ray of light illuminates a dog, a lonely passer-by, a tree with branches waggling in the night wind. Often street lights act like protagonists (a writer once said that there are not enough street lights in Kharkiv). One of such pictures is highly suggestive in its depressive theme, inspired by the dim glow of these rare lights, flickering in the darkness of the infernal (despite the ice coated ground) landscape. The gradual nature of the small work captures a new, nostalgic status of the landscape as an ever-receding image of the Motherland. The value of this photo can be compared to a melody that captures the main intention of a bigger musical form. Such replicas and echoes can be heard in different projects by Sergiy Lebedynskyy. 

 

In another photo there is a bridge across the river, one of the three modest-sized rivers of Kharkiv that make up the city’s water map, an unpretentious one, yet elegant in its own way. The light pattern reinforces the plasticity of the bridge parapet decorated with Soviet symbols and delineates with exaggerated rigidity the grain ears in the recognizable emblem of the Soviet Union. This symbol, so predictably associated with the traumatic legacy of a bygone era and its obtrusive iconography, which is recognizable even at night, has acquired aggressive properties, almost like the swastika of the Third Reich. Not only the sickle and hammer, threateningly hanging over the globe (craft tools or weapon?), but also the most peaceful part of the Soviet state emblem, wheat ears, started looking like bayonets over time.

 

The emotional coloring of Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s photos largely depends on special printing technique. It creates an additional visual structure that avoids distortion in interpreting them. Blurred images of the “troubled time”, in which phantom structures inhabiting reality become more visible. The photos were taken in low key lighting at night, and the ones that were taken in the daytime were printed in “night” style, with sunken shadows and the light objects that had been reduced in their brightness to gray, the way they look at night. This technique minimizes the recognizability of small details, thereby generalizing the composition, making the image more accentuated.

 

Unlike the images that capture a documentary moment, these ones are notable for their demonstratively non-photographic quality, turned towards artistic practice. This allows us to separate the photographer from the unacceptable image of reality that is rejected by such a technique. But what makes it unacceptable? Is it only Ukrainian reality that is not accepted in its givenness? When we change our position and move ourselves to another context are we able to accept the new reality, carrying the trail of our memories with us? Most of the young Ukrainians, who have had the opportunity to study in Europe and who have settled there, don’t forget their homeland, and just like swallows, who come to cold lands to bring out nestlings, they come back to realize their boldest ideas. How does this manifest itself in art? In Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s case, this is manifested in a complex way, mediated by psychological pattern of “childhood”. However, instead of regression to being “childish”, we see a special “regression” of artistic language in these creations. In the nostalgic pictures, we note the abolition of the current status of reality, a deliberate reduction, a return to the proto-language, a children’s language of photography, if it exists at all. This also explains the return to some topics and techniques, local features of Kharkiv School of Photography, for example, the use of “Horizon” camera in “The Arabat Spit”. Panoramic shooting became a noticeable feature of Kharkiv school of photography: in “Violin” by E. Pavlov (1972), in V. Kochetov’s pictures of the late 1980s, but it became most famous in B. Mikhailov’s works: “By the Ground” (1991) and “At Dusk” (1993). Sergiy Lebedynskyy had added to this list. 

In contrast to the nostalgic images, the other series are all about openness and transparency, representing a different style of photography. “UPA Hände hoch!” is one of them (with Shilo group, 2013). Each story is obvious right at the first moment and does not need to be contemplated. 

 

The irony with which the authors place themselves in the imaginary battle scenes allows them to also show themselves as spectators of the set-ups. The photographic plasticity reveals itself in the world of juxtaposition connecting the problems of the independence of Ukraine during the Soviet era with the current situation, as a special way of reflecting on these events. Sergiy Lebedynskyy is part of the Shilo group and, sharing the group’s common concepts, he participates in all of their joint projects that often represent the game place. Among other things, the game reveals the moment of narcissism that is inherent in Kharkiv photography and gives it a special charm of its own when this topic, used as a sharp utterance, is one of the expressions of nonconformism and survival in the atmosphere of psychological pressure on an artist’s personality.

 

Does it really matter that most of Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s photos have been taken in such a tragically significant place that modern Ukraine is? Their topos is marked by local signs of the scourge of war - broken buildings, traces of devastation and desolation, as we see in the following series, dedicated to the events unfolding in Ukraine after the Kyiv Maidan 2014. Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s series “Euromaidan” also is a night landscape showing in the atmosphere of the horrendous fumes of burning tires over the barricades, merging the cultural landscape of the European Square - the gates of the Dynamo stadium, the portico of the National Museum, decorated with lions - with the landscape of death. And a huge teddy bear, a ghost of the piece (a mascot of a football team or a character of a kids’ party?) is so out of place in this smoke-filled square ...

 

However, nowhere is this topic more obvious than in the series “Archetypes of (My?) War”. Numbers are most effective when talking about war. War is measured in the number of lives claimed, destruction and violence and catastrophic deterioration of the quality of life. What speaks louder about the real scope of the Ukrainian tragedy than the fact of more than 10,000 deaths? Speaking of the subject so topical for Ukraine, Sergiy Lebedynskyy also resorts to the language of statistics, but translating quantity into quality. 

The series “Archetypes of (My?) War” is a combination of a number of graphic projections that one can get with photography. The author overlays a huge amount of pictures of the war in Ukraine (up to 100 in one) found with the help of Google. They represent certain military objects (tank, figure of a fighter, battlefield etc.). In this “averaging of redundant signals” (S. Lebedynskyy), the war appears as the dynamics of folding reality, packed in one frame, the dynamics of death and a practical lesson of dematerialization. Photography becomes a picture of the transformation of time into space and further folding of this space, which does not belong to the world of lengths and durations directed into the future anymore, just like the final merging into the point of the “final” frame. 

 

It is interesting, how different these pictures are from the classic Soviet photographs of the World War II by Vladimir Yudin (“Junior Sergeant Nikolai Polikarpov at a Firing Position near Kiev”) or by Boris Sheinin (“Banner of Victory”) when it comes to “German invasion of the Soviet Union” or “defeat of the enemy”? In these pictures, “truth” and “justice”, “good” and “evil” are shown with the utmost clarity. But the information about the invasion of a certain country by Russian troops today, in the era of hybrid wars, fluctuates between “yes” and “no”, just like shaky reality fluttering on the verge of nonexistence in the overlaid photos from Google.

 

Focusing on the formal aspect of Sergiy Lebedynskyy’s photos from “Archetypes of (My?) War” series, we see a multitude of edges that are crushing the form, an infinite variety of lines that is not characteristic of photography. Relations between them are devoid of rational meaning, opening a way for introducing a symbolic beginning into a discrete field. It is symptomatic that such a structure calls up the integrating stylistics of cubo-futurism or the experiments of vortography of the early XX century. Thus, the author refers us to art practices of the beginning of the XX century, when the theme of war, that had already been revealed in theory by the futurists, was embodied in the real events of the First World War. These practices of the XX century, which appeared on the threshold of the world war, were a method of a concentrated message. 100 years later, today, the message of the “Archetypes of (My?) War” by Sergiy Lebedynskyy once again compresses space and time. But what should be done in order to pick up and tame the scattered seeds of discord from Pandora’s box, how to “put a spell” on war and to “entreat” it?

 

As if making a magical act of enclosing the spirit of war, like a jinn in a bottle, in one and only frame, Sergiy Lebedynskyy says: “Having averaged a few dozen shots into one, I got an abstract picture of the war in Ukraine, its collective archetype. In a resulting image one can only recognize the horizon line, the image looks more like a landscape than an action scene. It looks like a blurred open space, as if there had been no war.” 

 

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy je ukrajinski fotograf in knjižni umetnik, rojen v Harkovu leta 1982. Preden je postal umetnik, je Sergiy delal kot znansvenik in doktoriral iz inženirstva. Zaradi nezadovoljstva nad pomanjkanjem napredka in celotnim položajem v njegovi domovini Ukrajini,  je začel upo-rabljati fotografski jezik, da bi dokumentiral in tolmačil socialne procese ukrajinskega postsovjetskega tranzitnega obdobja. Njegova odločitev, da postane fotograf, je bila pod močnim vplivom dela Borisa Mikhailova, Evgenya Pavlova in Yurija Rupina. Vsi trije fotografi, po rodu iz Harkova,  so zajemali sovjetsko resničnost od leta 1970  ter razvili lasten kritični vizualni jezik, ki so ga poimenovali “teorija udarca”; trdili so, da je šokiranje gledalca pravi način za dosego estetskega učinka. Z zamislijo, da znova zaživi dediščina harkovskega fotografiranja, je Sergiy leta 2010 začel z ustanovitvijo fotografske skupine Shilo. Sergiy Lebedynskyy ustvarja in razvija fotografije v sekvencah in serijah ter jih kasneje predstavi v foto knjigah. Svoja dela natisne na zastarelem sovjetskem fotografskem papirju, ki je metafora za stik današnjih dogodkov z njihovim izvorom v sovjetski preteklosti.

 

Dolgotrajno delo v temnici z ostarelim papirjem omogoča nepredvidljive rezultate, ki naredijo vsak fotografski odtis edinstven. Njegovo delo je bilo mednarodno prikazano na festivalih  Les Recountres d’Arles, FotoFest bienale Houston, Kanuas Photo, Noorderlicht, Riga Photomonth in drugih. Njegova knjiga Euromaidan, ki jo je objavila založba Riot Books leta 2014, je bila v ožjem izboru za knjigo leta na festivalu Kassel Fotobook in “First Photobook” za Paris Photo Aperture Foundation Award. Leta 2015 je bil Sergiy imenovan za nagrado Discovery pri Rencontres d’Arles (s Shilo skupino). Sergiyjeva dela so vključena v zbirke muzejev: Muzej likovnih umetnosti Houston, Kiyosato Muzej fotografije, The Joaquim Paiva Collection. Muzej moderne umetnosti Rio de Janeiro, Moskovska Hiša fotografije.

 

 

 

 

Sergiy Lebedynskyy (b. 1982) is a Ukrainian artist. Selected exhibitions include: “Discovery Award” Les Rencontres d’Arles (2015); „An Ocean of Possibilities: Rise“, Noorderlicht, Holland (2014); FotoFest International Discoveries IV , Houston (2013); Riga Photomonth (2015); Kaunas Photo Festival (2015); „In Flux” at Leonidas Kanellopoulos Cultural Centre, Eleusis (2015). Sergiy Lebedynskyy has published two books (both with Vlad Krasnoshchok): a handmade „Euromaidan“ by Riot Books was shortlisted for “Book of the year” at Kassel Fotobook-Festival and “First Photobook” of Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation Award. Photobook „Chronicle“ by dienacht Publishing was nominated for Deutscher Fotobuchpreis 2016.

 

His works are included in collections of Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Kiyosato Museum of Photographic Arts , The Joaquim Paiva Collection/Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro, Museum of Photo Art Kolomna.

 

Sergiy has a Ph.D. in engineering and is a founding member of photographic group Shilo.

www.lebedynskyy.com