"Levitation 2"

2018, canvas, oil190 x 190 cm

Victor Sydorenko's Character – a man from the crowd – was born in the womb of totalitarian discourse and has been shaped in the imagination of the artist during his service in the army. Over time, the Character acquired a different meaning, symbolizing a chase for self-identification in the post-totalitarian modern society.

Anatoly Kryvolap

About the artist

Victor Sydorenko (b. 1953) – Ukrainian artist, Professor of Fine Art, curator, President of the National Academy of Arts of Ukraine, Director and founder of the Modern Art Research Institute, Representative of Ukraine at the 50th Venice Biennale, 2003, Commissioner of the 54th and 55th Venice Biennale, 2011 and 2013, respectively. In 2003, he represented Ukraine at the Venice Biennale with his project "The Mill of Time". The scope of his creative work includes painting, sculpture, photography and media art.

The artist’s creative path began in the late Soviet times when he used realism as a jumping-off point and an opportunity to reflect the surrounding life. Gradually, he shifted to the post-modern style, contemplating the transformation of the individual in the changing world, at the intersection of the individual and the archetypal, rigid framework and complete uncertainty.

"Although the Character is quite recognizable through the artworks, I try to avoid the Character becoming a sign, as it would mean a frozen form, a dead end. I continue to see him as a living person." – Victor Sydorenko

On one hand, unification can be a sign of unfreedom, an eternal experience of the totalitarian past. On the other hand, it reflects the opportunity to lose oneself and feel free, to levitate. Through the images of people in underpants levitating in their own spaces, the author explores the mechanisms of individual adaptation to an impersonal society.