Several Stories and Objects
Solo Show at Voloshyn Gallery, Kyiv
The exhibition is structured as a total installation and constructed as a data-dense space.
The objects (paintings) presented in the exposition tell the stories united by the motif of Crimea. The paintings’ protagonists can be provisionally subdivided into the two opposing camps. The first group is comprised of the artist’s friends, the public figures born in Crimea who have left the peninsula. The second group represents the Russian cultural figures who cannot legally enter Ukraine because they visited Crimea after the annexation. This list of artists is published on the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine website. The protagonists forced to share the space enact a range of polemics that are not limited to their “group” identity.
The word “object” in the show’s title is not accidental. Khomenko depicts the people (those she knows and those she doesn’t, with and without permission) who, having entered the space of a canvas, no longer represent themselves, becoming vehicles for the artist’s story. The characters of these paintings are akin to actors playing in a film or a show. Khomenko tests whether her objects can contain all the information, telling non-linear stories and relying on the uncompromising facticity of their materiality. This narrative attempt is a response to the unflagging media chatter and the influx of the large volume of data where it might be hard to tell the truth and fiction apart.
In “Several Stories and Objects,” Khomenkocontinues her programmatic work with deconstructing figurative imagery. The artist uses stretchers, objects, canvases, biflex fabric and netting to literally divide the paintings’ characters
from the background, and to offer ironic commentary on the traditional painterly technique of glazing.
The painter Alevtyna Kakhidze is the show’s guest star, contributing her drawing. Kakhidze created it in 2001 during a plein-air retreat in Simeiz (Crimea), in which she participated with Khomenko.