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26.09.2014 – 26.10.2014
Curator: Pavlo Makov
National Art Museum of Ukraine
and Stedley Art Foundation
present the project by
September, 26 - October, 26 2014
"...every person should know some two or three landscapes in the smallest details. These specific landscapes are enough for thinking. Because a person cannot think without arranging some images on the forever reflected landscape in the brain. Besides, these lots of relief are also enough for combining dreams".
FM Halychyna, 26.11
"It is a weird time: some obcure Kharkiv myths become reality for me while this very reality inevitabely turns to myth." [5, p.10]. Since 1994, when this entry was written, Pavlo Makov has almost never departed from this formula. Significant elements of the mental environment still find their places within printed paper spaces which are still struggling to become real. One of such elements, emerged from mythological depths of Kharkiv, is an industrial and clothing market. Usually such places become passwords on the lips of smugglers or receive seeming social significance, covering entrances to subway stations which are only ghostly reflections of the descend to hell. Those are the places of bizarre coincidences, traumatic, silently agreed with their indigenous residents. Mentality of Kharkiv market is a prototype of boards with images of containers. Favored by thousands of "hunters for happiness", it is daily called by the name of the astronomer Mykola Barabashov who made a significant contribution to the craft of watching the stars.
Surprise that is supposed to accompany such discovery (too strongly rooted in the everyday life for being easy to make) turns to be so rare and insignificant on the world's scale that its role fades by itself, leaving everything in place. It is this stifling invariable mood of "bare life" that caused the creation of a separate series of Pavlo Makov. Paradiso Perduto (Lost Paradise) as a kind of heraldic maxim in the order of human existence does not currently include contradictory questions about "when was it lost?" or "when does everything come back?" In a sence, it is a Christian directive of earthly life that extends between the expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the possible return to the Kingdom of Heaven. It does not explain the exact chronological meanings??, but turns these questions into another dimension - about "where?" Those who ask discover the existence of absence through their own topos. Lost Paradise is a place.
Visual fixation of places is an old professional feature of engravers who travelled and printed images, thus working for printed editions and encyclopedias for replenishing visual knowledge. Pavlo Makov's etchings "talk", using their own linguistics, and with the letters of boards. At the same time, the sence of received "sentences" is not in the transmission of knowledge or meanings but in the creation of so-called "effects of presence". In theoretical terms Makov avoids the spectacular play with theories, focusing on "the Culture of presence" (as it is called in contemporary humanities). This concept, meaning the culture that opposes the one of interpretation and meaning, was developed in the works of the German philosopher and literary critic Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht. In the book "Production of Presence: What Meaning Cannot Convey", 2004, Gumbrecht proclaimed the need for "new attention" - not to the entities that supposedly open if one dives deeper beneath the surface, but to the very materiality, form and "bodiness", would it be of a novel, movie or Scrabble game. That is the reason why the encounter between Makov and Gumbrecht, though brief and more or less unexpected, revealed rather fruitful coincidence, the widest of which is an appeal not to grant so many privileges to the time, giving the space the possibility to reveal its potential.
Landscapes of "Paradiso Perduto" are eight works of various size, filled with mood (Stimmung) and latency. Both words are crucial for the series and were suggested by Humbrecht in "After 1945". They draw our attention to the new features of the presence - not to the bodies themselves, but to their affects, not to the textes, but to something that can be found between the lines. For these gaps also are the elements of the world, the perception of which does not necessarily depends on meaning. "Paradiso Perduto" are the territories full of latency, which attracts our gaze to places where something is hidden, where finding ourselves in "an eyewitness situation" we not only look but also feel the presence of something that has not yet manifested itself clearly, but retains the possibility to happen.
Pavlo Makov is a member of Royal Society of Artists and Graphics of the Great Britain, Artists Society of Ukraine, corresponding member of Art Academy of Ukraine. Awarded with a diploma of Hungarian Artists Association (Gyor, Hungary), Prix d'honneur (France), "Golden Book" (Tallinn, Estonia), etc. Works are presented in National Art Museum of Ukraine (Kyiv), National Museum of Russian Art (Kyiv), PinchukArtCentre (Kyiv), National Art Museum of Estonia (Tallinn), the State Treryakov Gallery (Moscow), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Odense Museum (Denamark), Metropolitan Museum (New York), etc.