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Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

Black-and-white pleasures of life in Donetsk

Photo exhibition at the Art Donbass center proves that art still attracts people, despite our hard uncultured times!
24 June, 2014 - 11:57

“We must live on! Various cultural institutions have stopped working in the city, but the people who are still here need a way to lower pressure. So, we try to do something, to please the local public,” art director of the Art Donbass Kateryna Kalinichenko admitted.

Photo project “Chorne i Bile... Black and White...” presents more than 40 pho­to­graphs taken during the past three years in different parts of the world: Venice, Prague, Istanbul, San Francisco, and the Maldives. Their creator is Dmytro Itkin. He loves monochrome photo, and published book B & W. Photos with Notes on the Margin in 2012, featuring pictures he had taken during his travels to different countries. Pictures displayed at the exhibition will be the basis of his next collection of black-and-white photos.

Among the exotic landscapes, it is striking to see portrait of a man made in Donetsk at Donbass Arena stadium during Euro-2012. This thoughtful musician plays the accordion, with the inscription on the desk: “We are for peace! Be happy!” The theme of fragile peace is continued in photos taken in Paris two years ago. One of them, called The Premonition of a Civil War, is a “portrait” of a gnarled tree in the garden of the Tuileries. “I took this picture with a Leica camera, made in 1936, the year when the Spanish Civil War began. When I saw the tree that was filling the space like a cancerous tumor, the name immediately occurred to me,” Itkin explained. Another work, Cracked Peace, shows a cracked glass sheet inscribed with the words “peace” in world’s languages.

The exhibition displays one color photo, too. It shows woman photographer from Korea, who lost her leg in a car accident, but is still active. The heroine, wearing a red coat and high heels, turned her back to the audience, so the face is not visible, but everyone feels the charm and power of this woman. Itkin maintained: “My heroine’s attitude to life, her optimism could not be transmitted well by a combination of black and white.”

Visitors can record their impressions on the mat that surrounds the works, and the most interesting ideas will be included in the next book of annotated black-and-white photos. Itkin argued: “Black for me is the color of elegance, and not one of mourning, so I do not define black and white as bad and good. I would sort events of our lives into dark and bright ones. Now we have a lot of both. Still, let the bright ones predominate.”

The exhibition “Chorne i Bile... Black and White...” will last until July 15.

By Maria PROKOPENKO, Donetsk. Photo by Vitalii SKOBLIKOV, courtesy of the Art Exhibition Center Art Donbass