Project within the Assembly Scheme exhibition at the M17 CAC, Kyiv, Ukraine



About the Exhibition

Chervonohrad (06.02.24-18.02.24) as part of Assembly Scheme exhibition at the M17 Contemporary Art Center, Kyiv, Ukraine.
Exhibition by Yuriy Bolsa

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    Yuriy Bolsa is a Ukrainian artist from the city of Chervonohrad, Lviv region. His work is a statement about the relationship with the city, the self in it and outside it. A series of exhibitions exploring how the myths of the past continue to shape the complex mosaic identity of a place – as colourful and detailed as the artist’s artworks themselves – artefacts, monuments, fragments of history of one city and one person who have something to say to each other.
    The exhibitions, which will take place in different spaces over time, are united by a narrative of stringing together memories, emotions, people, regimes and events that have influenced the life and development of Chervonohrad; and at the same time, the formation of the author’s personality here and now – Bolsa attempts to reflect and shape dynamic changes by looking at his hometown, which has shaped him to some or all of his life.
    The artist’s self-portrait becomes one of the key elements in his works not only as a representation of physical presence, but also as a symbolic intersection of history in terms of the subjective perspective through which Bolsa interprets his city. Yurii Bolsa explores the historical aspect of the city’s two births (as Krytynopol and as mining Chervonohrad), the presence and influence of Polish and later Soviet rule with a specific and personal intention – to see for himself and to show others the deliberate erasures and imprints of history that define the city’s collective memory in architecture and landscape, as well as in social and personal issues. Yurii explores his own relationship to and belonging to Chervonohrad by engaging the historical context of its complex sociopolitical circumstances, while simultaneously decomposing the changes in himself through situations and memories.
    In the intersection of discussions about historically determined issues, Bolsa raises the topics of inferiority, bullying, social stereotypes at equidistant distances, sometimes unleashing emotions that were once tightly protected by the walls of the artist’s apartment in Chervonohrad. Moving to Kyiv, where his studio is located, he struggles with questions of belonging and identity, navigating the contours of loyalty to his homeland and the ephemeral feeling of a traitor who has no right to speak about the city when he leaves it.
    The project is about the glorification of the city, as the artist himself says. About its existence and continuation. Maintaining a sense of Chervonohrad’s presence in the infopolis is very important, because it is one of hundreds of small industrial cities that are not talked about, and perhaps not even known. The artist’s goal is actually the very philosophy of what is said, voiced. Unobtrusively, this information will somehow exist in the background of the viewer after viewing the exhibition. That is why, in particular, exhibitions about Chervonohrad are the very idea that the city exists, that it is there.

Exhibition tour