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Exhibition in Ivano-Frankivsk: Viktor Sydorenko

24 January 2018

On January 24 CHECH, a new art gallery in Ivano-Frankivsk, opens an exhibition of works from Zenko Foundation collection. The exhibition gathered works of well-known Ukrainian contemporary artists: Arsen Savadov, Oleksandr Roytburd, Vasyl Tsagolov, Oleg Tistol, Maryna Skugareva, Vinni Reunov, and Viktor Sidorenko.

Curator Anatoliy Zvizhynsky:

This is an artist who has always been in the search for his style, identity and himself in art. He constantly experiments with techniques, even though painting remains as the basis, and actively participates in exhibitions. In his creative works, he turns to the issues of time, memory, and place of a human in the world. He has made it through the thorns of the bureaucratic ranking system in the artists’ union. Viktor is a vice president of the Academy of Arts and a director of Institute of Contemporary Art Issues. He stays solitary, aloof, out of all crowds, without any followers or students, in spite of his organizational skills and openness for dialogue.

Viktor Sydorenko From the Amnesia series, 1997

Viktor Sydorenko (from the Contemporary Art Almanac "End to End"):

I am at home with strangers and a stranger among my people. On the one hand, it is due to my move to Kyiv, but on the other, due to the situation in Ukrainian art. Being an Academy member, I am supposed to be one of the classical artists, but at the same time, I work with contemporary art. In the Academy, nobody does that among those who still produce works. I am accepted here, but also a stranger. The same with the contemporary artists – for them, I am first of all associated with an Academy representative. But this is what I see my task in, which is to unite. Having founded the Institute of Contemporary Art Issues, I would like to join academic approaches with contemporary thinking. This might be my life mission because I can deal with my art myself. Sooner or later Ukraine will become a part of a European context and will be able to demonstrate high-quality contemporary art. Now the first-priority task of the Institute is preparing the foundation to establish a Museum of Contemporary Art. Our employees research the whole range of art issues – not just in visual arts, but also in cinema, theatre, and music. The elder generation or traditional artists should start recognizing contemporary art or at least treating it more liberally. Even public officials are more receptive to this aspect than artists. The state lacks money but doesn’t lack acceptance. In the past, communist party functionaries did not understand ballet but still went to it, because they had to, it was prestigious. Now contemporary art is in the same situation, and this is normal. Art does not need love from the state, only respectful attitude. Artists are also a part of society like everyone else, so we want to have decent treatment from the state. Something produced by an artist can be immediately sold of course. But to create and present it, money is needed. Money can always be found for commercial things. But there will always be projects requiring financial support, demonstration, discussions, introduction in cultural circulation. This is why there is a need for Museum of Contemporary Art which would hold such campaigns requiring financial expenses but possibly not immediately in demand commercially.