What does the beach mean to you?
This week is your last chance to catch an alluring exhibition of works by contemporary Ukrainian artist Viktor Sydorenko. Until 18 October, M17 Contemporary Art Center is exhibiting two of Sydorenko’s projects, “The Beach and the Shore” and “Un-timely”, both connected by a recurring motif: people enjoying themselves by the sea.
It sounds simple at first, but in fact, the image of the beach is endlessly open to interpretation. First it might make you think of togetherness, or collectivity, but which generation are we talking about? Sydorenko’s paint palette conjures up a hazy, nostalgic image, stretching back decades into the twentieth century, with the older generation soaking up the sun and relaxing on the golden sand. Yet all this still exists in the present. And what about the future? The artist leads his audience through labyrinths of time, journeying back through cultural evolution and persuading us that change doesn’t happen so quickly. There is no such thing as then and now – only timelessness.
The message really hits home when you get to the artist’s beach photos and sketches from Crimea, offering a window onto his creative process. Walking round the exhibition, you are bound to ask yourself questions about the nature of your own long-distant memories. Are we really taking part, or are we just spectators? Or, in Sydorenko’s symbolic universe: are we on the beach or the shore? And where do you draw the line between the two?
Viktor Sydorenko – “Untimely”
Dates: until 18 October (11.00 – 21.00)
Address: M17 Contemporary Art Center (Antonovycha 102 – 104)
Metro: Palats Ukraina
Ticket price: 100 UAH (70 UAH for children, students, and pensioners)
Tickets are available at the gallery or online