Fairy tales about the end of the world
Opening: 5.04. 2023, 19:00
Gallery Szewska 16
The belief about the impending end of the world is nothing new, catastrophic thinking is not alien to humanity, and each epoch had its own vision of the approaching apocalypse. At the same time, life continued its normal rhythm – it’s understandable, after all, you can’t stay in constant fear. The fear of the end of history is as unreal as it is attractive – a man tries to tame his own fear of death through creativity, various kinds of stories about the end.
Dmytro Krasnyi presents the topic in a special way. Because can the end of the world be a fairy tale? Getting familiar with the artist’s works, one can feel anxiety, tension, an impression of the fragility of the surrounding world. Broken china, crosses, bright colors, unusual animals, characters reminiscent of scary childhood fairy tales, faceless people, absent people whose only contours remain, cut out from paintings as if taken to another place, lonely silhouettes, paradoxically small against the background vast, empty landscapes – it’s not an ordinary life, it’s not the end of the world either, it’s something in between – a fairy tale about death.
And although Dmytro Krasnyi does not practice political art, his work gains a new dimension in the face of the war in Ukraine, especially in the context of the artist’s origin. The motif of death, tanks or yellow and navy blue colors bring to mind the tragic situation of a country affected by armed aggression. In light of this, the question arises about the role of the artist in times of conflict. Not fighting, but creating, becomes a position adopted in the face of a collapsing world. The artist plays with creativity like a child on a deserted playground, but in reality he marks his presence and thus speaks out in an important matter for him, the playground, studio, becomes a battlefield for the artist.
Fairy tales about the end of the world are scary and enchanted at the same time. It’s more of a fairy tale for adults than a bedtime story. Perhaps, however, magical thinking about the end of time is not only possible, but also necessary. Treating the impermanence of life in a fairy-tale way is a method to survive, suspended between indifference and despair. The magical realism used by Dmytro Krasnyi can be summed up in the words of Krzysztof Kieślowski: “The feeling of a certain strangeness, vagueness, mystery is there all the time. All the time. Now, as well”.
Dmytro Krasnyi was born in 1985 in Ukraine, in Chernihiv region. He graduated from the National Transport University in Kiev, and then began studying at the graphic studio of the Kyiv-Mohyla Adacemy. In 2019, he was on the six-month Gaude Polonia scholarship program, during which he studied at University of the Arts Poznan. In his artistic practice, he works with such media as graphics, photography, ceramics, installation and collage. Since February 24, 2022, he has been in Poland, where he held an artistic residency at Łaźnia CCA and Port Artistic Residencey organized by the MEWKA Socially Engaged Gallery in Gdansk. More information: dmytrokrasnyi.com