Art and politics. PinchukArtCentre presented the project "And again democracy?"

The musician placed inside the piano tries to play Beethoven's Ode to Joy, while the audience unwittingly follows the pianist - the piano is set on rollers and moves. This is one of the projects of the exhibition “Is Democracy Again?” At the PinchukArtCentre in Kiev. Large-scale exposition gathered a lot of world-famous contemporary artists. Zo Leonard, Maurizio Cattelan, Takashi Murakami, Olafur Eliasson, Damien Hirst and not only - the exhibition is devoted to the topical issue of elections in different countries of the world.One of the main issues that the project considers is how to protect democracy in the form of an open society. Politicians ’decisions to close borders, to separate children from their families during immigration attempts or to ban people from mooring to the shore threaten the fundamental principle of the openness of our society and, therefore, democracy itself. However, everywhere and always art remains one of the many forms that make it possible to resist. The world stars of Sovrisk, each in his own way, show and tell stories about the fundamental principles of democracy, about protecting minorities and ensuring their freedoms. "... I want a president who will not be the least of two evils ..." - Zo Leonard.The composition of Pascal Martin Tay.

The exhibition opens with the poem “I Want a President” by the activist of the feminist movement Zo Leonard, written in 1992. For us, this is an occasion to reflect on the recent elections in different countries of the world that have shifted the balance of influence, to reflect on how many choices have an impact on the future and are based on past events.
“... I want to know when we agreed that the president was a fool: he is always a sex buyer and never a prostitute, always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief, and always not caught,” says Zo Leonard.
(Full adapted text here).

Many of these risks and challenges are even harder to fight in a world where populist approaches and authoritarian governance models seem attractive and successful. This idea can be traced in the new picture of Takashi Murakami - “kawai” cats seater here with skulls, which are also quite nice. But still - the skulls. The painting "Lion Occupying the Throne in My Heart" ("The Lion occupying the throne in my heart") was completed a week before the exhibition began and arrived in Kiev straight from the artist's New York studio. The size, as usual, is impressive: 3 by 6 meters. As stated in the announcement of the event, the exhibition “Once again, democracy?” Is repelled by the double question: “Do we need to rethink democracy? How to adjust or adapt this system so that it survives the challenges facing it today? ”Or“ Do we need a new model? Does democracy lose? Has the model of representative power lost its viability and is it not coping with its tasks? ”
The exposition “And again democracy?” Does not contain a straightforward look at all these questions, but rather offers multilayered layers of thoughts, risks and dreams that determine whether they threaten democratic foundations — what we have today.
  • Takashi Murakami, Lion Occupying the Throne in My Heart (fragment). 2018
  • (c) Takashi Murakami / Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
Takashi Murakami - a real superstar of modern art, one of the most expensive Japanese artists, an icon From ancient times, icon painting served as the “language for the illiterate” —a special language with its own rules and symbolism. For centuries, master-icon painters brought it to perfection, trying to convey the materiality of the spiritual otherness. That is why icon painting is still considered to be the most difficult and rarest art in which human capabilities and divine beginnings are combined. Read more on pop art. We suggest you to get acquainted with our story about the brightest projects of the master.The creative duet “Allora and Calzadilla” presented at the exhibition its project “Stop, Repair, Prepair” (“Stop, Repair, Preparation”, 2008). The musician placed inside the piano tries to play Beethoven's Ode to Joy, while the audience unwittingly follows the pianist - the piano is set on rollers and moves. Because of the cut hole, part of the strings is missing, and some notes are heard only as a knock of keys. Sculpture or performance? "Ode to Joy" - the anthem of the European Union or referring to the Nazi regime?On the wall is a picture of Luke Tyuymans “The Swamp” (“Swamp”, 2017), and in front of her is the composition of Rachel Whitered “Untitled” (“Untitled”, 2010).Pascal Martin Tay. "Fingers" ("Fingers", 2018)Another composition by Pascal Martin Tay is composed of two works: “Anvil of Democracy” (2018) and several miniature sculptures “Sisyphian Factory” (2018)See also: George Orwell, "1984": quotes and pictures that awaken consciousnessOlafur Eliasson. “Still river” (“Motionless river”, 2016) The sense of the project is not always obvious: information about the works are part of the projects, as is most often the case with modern works of art. Thus, a visitor to the exhibition in her blog cites facts about the project of Olafur Eliasson:
- Water for exposure is taken from the river every 6 days.
- On the territory of the art center a special refrigerating chamber has been designed, which turns the river water into a work of art.
- Each cube weighs 1 ton.
- The time interval during which the exposure lives is 6 days. During this time, the ice melts and it is replaced by another.
- For the exposition a special platform was made that can withstand a large weight of ice.
- In general, the exhibition weighs about 3 tons.Maurizio Cattelan. "Ave Maria". 2007Damien Hirst. "Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain" ("Saint Bartholomew. Exquisite pain", 2006) The famous British artist Damien Hirst creates not only objects with sharks, tablets, and also sculptures: his new trend is point painting. In the spring of 2018, he presented to the public a new series of bright colorful works inspired by pointillism, which he described as “big abstract paintings [in the style of] Bonnard”.Sondra Perry reflects on how modern technology forms a personality. "Typhoon coming on" ("Typhoon is coming")The exhibition “Democracy Again?” In the PinchukArtCentre is open until January 6, 2019.Arthiv: read us at Telegraf and look on Instagram Prepared according to the PinchukArtCentre press release. Photos provided by PinchukArtCentre © 2018. Photographer: Maxim Belousov.