This spring, in the Baltic Center of Contemporary Art, a young Ukrainian artist Olena Syatovska presented a personal exhibition "0,99 zł" based on the results of a creative residence in Poland.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk Open Ukraine Foundation provided the artist with a travel grant for a visit to Poland.
Olena Siyatovska's main project is about culture of consumption. It is called "0,99 zł". Consumerism is one of the basic values of a modern person. And how to learn to see in it more than material – the main question for today. "0,99 zł" is a symbolic price for things that do not have a fixed value, therefore, it passes from the material category to the sacred one. Items found by the artist in Ustka were put up for sale on the ad service and the city's residents could purchase them. The body of a market stand, fabric that protects goods from the sun and bad weather, performance with a pendulum in a supermarket, during which Olena tried to get information on products from the energy field, all these are metaphors of spiritual consumerism, which she is developping in her latest projects.
Flowers wrapped in fresh newspapers (which were also part of the exhibition) intended to send the viewer to the problem of substituting concepts in the culture of mass consumption, emphasizing on the connection between the aesthetics of the past and the present.
The exhibition also included performance documentation in the public space. The exhibition aroused considerable interest among the city residents. "We talked a lot about the artistic environment, cultural heritage and the history of our country", – says Olena. "All of them were very interested in my work. The director of the gallery invited me to visit the residence next year", – she added.
During the trip, Olena also visited Poznan and Warsaw, presented her work at the Poznan University of Arts, talked with gallery owners and curators. At the same time, she visited Gdansk couple of times (meeting with the curator of the gallery of contemporary art), as well as galleries, art centers, cultural institutions.
In Ustka, artist performed a project in a public space, the one she began in Ukraine (it was performed in Kyiv and Ivano-Frankivsk). The project is called "Faults of the sky".
The residence in the Baltic Gallery of Contemporary Art (Bałtycka Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej) was held for two months in the cities of Slupsk and Ustka (Poland). The Center of Contemporary Art is located in the northern part of Poland. The gallery was founded in 1987 and is located in an old building of the former grain storage facility. After renovation, the center actively cooperates with foreign artists, and Olena Syatovska was the first representative from Ukraine, which caused a lot of interest towards the creative scene of our country.
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The Open Ukraine Foundation provides mini-grants for travel expenses for Ukrainian artists to exchange artistic experience at the international level and to improve the cooperation between Ukrainian and foreign artists. These grants give Ukrainian artists the opportunity to present their achievements to the whole world.
Olena (Lena) Syatovska is an artist, co-founder and member of art group "Step". Graduated Oles Honchar Dnipropetrovsk National University, Faculty of Philology and Art Studies. Works with graphics, text, installation and performance. The main interest of the artist is in the scope of social relations, culture of consumption and processes of post-Soviet transformation.