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Vitaliy Kokhan. Time Capsule
September 2, 2017 - December 5, 2017
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.” Ecclesiastes Everything has its starting point, point of singularity, and bifurcation point. On a whim of the Creator working from behind the scenes time and space are suddenly reduced to a tightly knit ball of possibilities and impossibilities all of which annihilate the past. All things gradually moving within the flow of time are reduced to dust. Visual arts of the past centuries are overcome in a deathly battle caused by arms race in style, technique, and method. Many artists perished in this mighty river of information, no longer do they have time to reflect, and develop their personal method. Consequently, their art is reduced to a hasty snap shot, instant still frame image accompanied by the shutter sound of camera on their smartphone… Hegel announced “the death of art”. Indeed, the technological progress of the past two centuries crushed traditional art, it reduced it to smithereens and left it for dead. The Armageddon predicted centuries ago is now upon us. We have passed the point of no return. What lies ahead? Whithergoestthou? Can dust bear new life? We have no idea. All we can do is place in a time capsule all that is dear to us; and wait and observe. This is how the multitude of contemporary life styles accompanied by development of new media – the offspring of the new information age, give birth to unique “apocalyptic art” rooted in the cultural fossils of the past generations. Vitaliy Kokhan produces “art in the post-apocalyptic age”. Just like a new age archeologist he digs for medium, texture, colour, and signs in the ancient ruins left behind by the past generations. The artist draws on his professional experience to uncover his finds. And it is not just the six years he spent studying academic monumental art, it is also his way of communicating with the art space, closely associating with his more experienced fellow artists and their art, and drawing on the experience he gained while “working in the fields” during the land art project “Space in the border-zone” where the artist in his younger years witnessed how artistic forms arise directly from landscape. The “Time Capsule” Exhibition showcases Kokhan’s artworks where the artist abandons traditional paints he was once forced to use during his time at the Kharkiv Academy of Arts and instead he uses wood stain, brilliant green, enamel paint, and felt tip pens; he engages paper and glued together pieces of cheesecloth as base. His artwork looks freshly excavated, one can just barely figure out a flying rocket, nuclear explosion, human shape: all of these illusive shapes and broken phrases become part of his post-apocalyptic language. These symbols have lost their original regular meaning and now they hang like a daunting question over his art space. The artist’s almost primordial way of treating the art medium and his personal system of codes help guide Kokhan’s art through the ages and allow the spectator to ride the river of time, dive into its depth and carry hope that deep in its waters one may see a divine spark, beginning of life, first spring shoots, and the first primal artistic impulse.