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PERMANENT REVOLUTION: work by Vlada Ralko

05 June 2018

PERMANENT REVOLUTION, an exhibition of Ukrainian contemporary art, opens in Ludwig Museum in Budapest. This is the first wide-scale museum presentation of Ukrainian contemporary art to the European audience.

About work "Kyiv Diary" (Graphic, 2013—2015) by Vlada Ralko:

The artist’s idea to start a series of drawings, which resembles diary entries in the terms of structure, arose in the early days of the protests on the Maidan in the fall of 2013. For the next two years almost on a daily basis, Vlada has been documenting her experiences of the tragic events of the resistance, the annexation of the Crimea and the war on the Donbas. The obvious impossibility of constructing a complete system, the uncertainty of facts, the variability, the fluidity, and the swiftness of the events, altogether with the need to participate in what is happening have become decisive factors in choosing exactly this form of almost instantaneous response as the only possible one. It was also extremely important to document the events immediately, “grab” them at once before time and memory had not managed to distort them to unrecognizability. While the artist was working on the series, the thoughts about the nature of the events that originated from the local protest in Kyiv (henceforth the title is Kyiv Diary) grown into the reflections on what defines the human nature in general, and how the insights, the actions, and the aspirations that are insignificant in the context of everyday routine are transformed under critical circumstances into heroism, that borders with holiness, or the crime.

Vlada Ralko Kyiv Diary

“I almost immediately began to see something in these events that had been hidden earlier in the depths of calm being, that was secret or implicit protest or conflict, but now it revealed itself. It seemed as if the metaphor which I had previously used for the narration about the conflicts hidden inside, turned into reality. I was fascinated by the integrity, the indivisibility of reality unfolding in front of us. It was impossible to separate high from low, heroic from sinister, beautiful from ugly with the use of the common settings. In a word, the reality turned out to be unintelligible because habitual judgments instantly cleaned it out, distorted it, made it invalid, dream-like. Moreover, all this was closely intertwined, and it changed roles, escaped usual evaluations. Existence seemed to have optics refashioned, was illuminating with bright light, and became true.” Vlada Ralko