City Ha, planet a, B. the artist Sergei Bratkov of the Kharkov avant-garde and breach of the independence

One of the curators of the exhibition “Ha” Sergei Bratkov told Focus on the protest as avant-garde, a huge cemetery of Donbass and sitting at home Russian artists

Andrew Krasnay – 16.02.18 68200

16 December 2017 on 18 February at the Kiev National art Museum held a major exhibition “City Ha”, representing the Kharkiv avant-garde over the last hundred years from the era of modernism to postmodernism and postpostmodern. Sergei Bratkov, together with Tetiana Tumasyan, Director of Kharkiv municipal gallery — curators of this exhibition.

Sergey Bratkov is often in Ukraine comes, participates in exhibitions, organizes projects. In 2007, he represented Ukraine at the Venice Biennale. Each year brings students to the international Symposium of contemporary art “biruchiy”; exhibited at the PinchukArtCentre in Kiev, during the Maidan filmed here. If you do not know that he lives in Moscow, left in 2000-m, you feel like you never left — and the passport Ukrainian.

The lads as an artist, a photographer has long been a citizen of the world: solo exhibitions in many countries, work is in museums in Belgium, Germany, Spain, USA, France, Croatia, Switzerland. “Radical experiment”, “provocation as a method”, “brutal frankness, full of irony”, “local call” is characterized as the art critics of his avant-garde art. It all started in Kharkov, in 1980-1990-ies: a group of young photographers “Gosprom”, experimental art Association “Litera A”, photo-art-group “rapid response team”.

Genealogical oak Kharkiv avant-garde

Vanguard — the art of protest, nonconformist. Protested against what their art represented on your exhibition left artists of 1910-1920, Bakhchanyan and conceptualists in 1960-1970, Boris Mikhailov, and you are in the 1980-1990s?

— The vanguard is primarily a pioneering form. Protest the condition of the artist — his motor to the creation of new works. This engine served as a break with the traditional academic art. Avant-garde artists of Kharkov of the first generation were not left towards the authorities. The government has used vanguard for their own political purposes, being alien to him. When the problem of power had been completed, she distanced itself from these artists. To their credit they did not operate under the new rules, preserved and withdrew from the imposed authority of the new doctrines. And this way of nepodporovane power, nonproliferation, lie was an honest and civil justified.

“Want more daring, childlike, unblinkered grants to their political partisanship artists”

The funds that we had in preparation for the exhibition is a small work of Kharkiv avant-garde from the collection of the National Museum and modest Ukrainian private collections, covering the period from 1920-ies. In these works, the artists act as designers — designers of a new life, trying the word in futuristic aesthetics. Their work became the starting point for our exhibition: display of the continuity of speech and text in the Kharkiv art.

Replaced rehabilitated in the 1960s and returned to wall art and industry Institute Ermilov and Kosarev came designers, technicians without art education: Bakhchanyan and Mikhailov. Two unique artist, two of the conceptualist. In a totalitarian Brezhnev regime dissent was manifested in the form of parody and caricature. “Finished dissertation” Mikhailov, a masterpiece of the substitution of the concept of the thesis as important for the Soviet time constants for spectacular scrutinizing reality. Whatever the criticism of the art institution, but the tradition of constructivist composition and chromatics formed the basis of creativity Kulikov and Goncharova and, later, Borisov, Pichahchi, Esenina, Starikov. Vitaliy Kulikov joined postcount social caricature. Goncharov was the author criticized at the time, monochrome works with a clear horizon line — were presented at the exhibition satirical picture of my dogs on the wall with announcements like “cure hemorrhoids”. You can imagine what this meant for the honored member of Union of artists in 1990.

Young criticized your show. Maybe it’s because you and others already a classic, and classics of the avant-garde off the steamship of modernity?

— What is the answer? The organizers are not angels, see the flaws, somewhere agree with the criticism.

I apologize to anyone not included in the exhibition worthy artists. Criticism in the youth part of the exhibition concerns not represented in it by some authors, working with protest meanings. But the space of the three halls was insufficient, and we focused more on the formal vector showing, for example, the political work of the “rapid response team”.

It would be interesting to hear from them is criticism of ideas and meanings in the work of their peers, trapped in the exhibit. However, I have no sense that someone drops from the deck of someone with a black bag on his head. Tatiana Tumasyan in this exhibition, we were volunteers of Kharkiv. The opponents have the opportunity to organize their exhibition version of the Kharkov avant-garde, without money, on enthusiasm. Would be only too willing. This applies to the middle generation, which in its own way criticizes the “City Ha”.

Say, and your exhibition as if it establishes that Kharkiv the capital of Ukrainian avant-garde. But not suffer if the Kharkiv megalomania? The same Bakhchanyan in the text “Kharkiv”, which you have in the show, mocks in this respect over the city: live In Kharkov and work 2174 Nobel-prize winner, Lenin, Stalin and the Shevchenko prize”, etc.

— Does not suffer. It seems that Kharkiv lacks this consciousness. But there is a saving irony. Want more daring, childlike, unblinkered grants to their political engagement of the artists. I think that our attempt to stake out its specific place in the Ukrainian art Kiev, the venue had a reason.

The final, summing-up and must be the most conceptual work of the exhibition was “Genealogy of the Kharkov avant-garde” Mary Wolf, hamlet Zinkovsky and Pavel Makov, which contains everything between them, the connection lines, but what connects them — I guess. Here you are, for example, there is, on the one hand, associated with Boris Mikhailov (which is understandable), but living in Munich is a writer and artist Alexander Milshtein.

— Yes, it is wood and I have is questions. Very different it fruits are hanging. Went under him like a cat scientist… unlike metaphysical conceptualism Odessa, Kharkiv has social roots and it connects people with different ranks of attitudes, such as Mikhailov and Milstein. But the history of the Kharkiv art there is no common view within Kharkov, so the oak is not exactly like the oak.

Maidan as art

You once said that shot on the Maidan will take time. Is it gone yet? You these pictures and videos still did not show, did not put?

— The “orange revolution” exhibited in the courtyard of the Moscow gallery “Regina” on election day, Yushchenko.

Sergey Bratkov: “Almost every day I come into the Studio, lock the door and do it. And now for this more time than it was in the 2000s with the market and with Western love”

In 2014 in Kyiv took not something special that would four years later to make a splash, but still I was a guest with a keen eye. The train from Moscow arrived early in the morning. Winter in the desert town I was immediately impressed with the barricades. I looked at them through the lens of the camera, and it seemed to me that in the center of their gaping breaks something out of them, as if from a tin, the metal arching outward. When he returned, wanted to make large images of these ragged metal hole. But was scared myself.

If “politics is the art of the possible”, the Maidan — experimental, avant-garde art? The experiment was a success?

— “Destruction molodit” — the words of Walter Benjamin. Yes, it is. On the one hand, these events shook the country and led it in motion. On the other — his goal was the creation of a European form of government, which is not something that the lower classes, but upper classes were not ready. Maybe it’s in the form?

In what direction has changed Ukraine for the past four years?

— At best. From below came the part of people who feel themselves to be citizens of the country responsible for her fate. They have children, or they will appear, and such citizens will become more and more.

How do you assess what is happening now in Ukraine? What in social life is your interest as an artist?

— The struggle for the preservation of the state, for the scrapping of a corruption mentality, for its worthy place in the civilized world. Interesting forms of self-organization of people, they are similar to the processes occurring in art.

What causes anger and protest?

— Insincerity of the government.

In one 2010 interview you said that during the trip to Ukraine, the Donbass made you depressing. Not pedosexuals in it then what is happening there now?

— Preparing for the exhibition at “Pinchuk art center” in 2010, toured sukraine. In the Donbass, we went by car from Kharkov to mom of my friend. When slid off the road, caught my eye crushed in the rubble of a panel of plate houses. Apparently, someone broke them to pass rebar for scrap. In the house of the widow of the miner was cool. My friend’s mother could not come for two months to recover its normal leave coal for home heating. With the dawn I went up on the old slag heap. A bulldozer razed it to the top. To stay there was impossible. Pairs of sulfur are not allowed to breathe. Approaching the edge, saw the crimson glow of the horizon Alchevsk iron and steel works. The right career in freshly cracked engine motorcycle, pulls out of the hole-kopanky cast-iron bath filled with illegal charcoal. To the left is a huge cemetery, disproportionate to the residents of the village, in yellow and blue paint tombs. It seemed to me that to live there is simply impossible. And that there are people have to lose?

The suitcase, station, Regina

The feelings you have are born at the memory of the late Soviet time?

“Interesting forms of self-organization of people, they are similar to the processes occurring in art”

— The joy that was young and did what he wanted— art. And the bitterness that was near the parents in old age. They don’t have a decent old age, giving the work his entire life.

But the 1990s was for you pre-departure, or your departure was spontaneous?

— He left when I was forty years old. Gallery “Ridzhina” has offered to work with her.This was my first time, and I Packed my suitcase.

Today experimental, provocative art in Russia to engage in more complex than in the 2000s?

— Tell about yourself. Almost every day I come into the Studio, lock the door and do it. And now for this more time than it was in the 2000s with the market and with Western love. Now Russian artists sit more at home, as under Brezhnev. As the curator I did “Regina” posthumous exhibition of Stas Volyazlovsky — my friend, a provocateur and a rare artistic power of the author. It another month to slack on the “Winery”.

  • See also: Break the frame. As the Roman Mikhailov dissects fear

What are your next projects in Ukraine, in Russia, in the world?

— A collection of videos shot with my brother in the village of South near Kharkov from 2009 to 2017, will show in February in the Vienna gallery Christine könig (Christine Konig Galerie), April — personal exhibition in “Regina”. It’s nice that three of my students were among the finalists of “Pinchuk-art-price” and you will see them at the show in late February at “Pinchuk center”. Summer in Italy will host the first biennial of European art academies, my class chose to participate in it.