Aftermaths 2021

Aftermaths 2021-1, acrylic on canvas, 60×80 cm, 2021
Aftermaths 2021-2, acrylic on canvas, 50×80 cm, 2021
Aftermaths 2021-3, acrylic on canvas, 50×70 cm, 2021

This series is in progress and will be updating.

The project focuses on the ‘treachery of the images’ that regular everyday life presents to us. The ambivalence is the key to the project, where the figures enter in unexpected interactions and find themselves in paradoxical situations. The project employs the cross-fertilization of global images through the notions of violence, fear, displacement, and trauma hidden behind the attractive appearance. This socio-political paradox is at the core of the project, and the medium of painting as the traditional artist’s tool of critique helps to uncover false interpretations of the peaceful appearances, marking them as empty and meaningless.

The project’s proposal is inspired by the reemergence of doubt and ambiguity in the dramatically changing world, and it enquires about the visual contributions that the history of art can provide on this account. The painting works with the reinterpretations of the Classic Antiquity, Byzantine, Art Nouveau, and Classicist images, among others, to demonstrate the continuity that one finds around in the spiral of history that is wound around each one of us.

As an artist from Ukraine, working in Mexico, I am especially prone to the “outcentred” sensitivities that deconstruct identities and collide them in a type of collage to reflect on the anxiety of the contemporary epoch. The project also discusses the question of whether the edges of this abyss can be seen better from the places that lay on the borderline. It is also a reflection on the postcolonial statement of the unity of power and knowledge (Foucault) where the power holder seeks the knowledge that he finds in the domain of the oppressed. Through the recompilation of the conflictive moments of twentieth-century history, these paintings respond to Homi Bhabha’s interpretation of mimicry, where the “Janus-faced” visualities are double articulated, as they are camouflaged like the power they are subject to. This ambiguity is where most contemporary traumas emerge from, and where the aesthetic criteria of beauty and ugliness intersect and interchange.