The Formula of Silence by Oleksandr Zhyvotkov

The ARTSVIT gallery together with Stedley Art Foundation present the project The Formula of Silence by Oleksandr Zhyvotkov

The exhibition is open from 28 March to 8 May

st. Artema, 4-A
056 372 54 23
095 799 35 35

Admission: free

The exhibition The Formula of Silence concludes a difficult and special period of art of Oleksandr Zhyvotkov – one of the most unique and renowned representatives of contemporary Ukrainian art.

This period lasted slightly more than a year and started during dramatic events of winter of 2013-2014. The sharpened and, at the same time, insightful philosophic perception of social cataclysms turned both an arm and heart of the artist to black colour and most important gospel texts. Zhyvotkov took out them at random, as if from the air – from the very same air blackened by soot and pain that filled his lungs in Kyiv in January-February 2014: “and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha...”

This period resulted in five works called Kyiv. 2014. They were exhibited in the White Space of the Stedley Art Foundation in autumn 2014. The powerful sacral component of the exposition has filled the quiet intimate gallery with literally cathedral air and scale and has given it such extraordinary acoustics, in which the words of a prayer can be the only suitable ones.

The second part of The Formula of Silence is The Roads. 2014-2015 series. Zhyvotkov started working on this series immediately after finishing Kyiv. 2014. However, its “air” is the light and its textual context is completely different.

It should be mentioned that Zhyvotkov has been painting on (and now carving) wood much and for quite long. Different periods of life brought the artist via his “roads” to the most various “places” that encompass both his personal and professional development.

The Formula of Silence

There are times when changes follow one by one and one cannot predict what kind of a shocking piece of news will arrive this morning. When a sharp razor of war grates upon the ears and rattles one’s nerves, bringing about the state somewhere between despair and hopelessness. When it seems that the whole world is in the state of war with the whole world. An acute need for a simple and sincere guide, for a possibility to find and believe in the resolute emerges within the aggressive information, malice, deaths, threats, offences, accusations and lies. The suffering sharpens our sense organs and directs a thinking person to an internal search, to the reconsideration of his or her role in life, to the urge to reach internal silence.

The Formula of Silence is neither about obedient silence of those who are paralysed by fear, nor about the silent blame or cold-bloodedness. In his first exhibition in Dnipropetrovsk, Oleksandr Zhyvotkov reveals the silence as the only refuge, a place of acceptance of oneself and the others the way we are.

Having immersed in the silence, we forget about the time and circumstances, recall the real essence of all, having experienced the connection with something big, even though incomprehensible, but what feels as very dear. Having abandoned the necessity and importance of a personal “self”, there is just a flow that moves our consciousness.

The internal silence as a source of force and healing, as a prayer, shines through every artwork