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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

An impetus for reflection

The Shcherbenko Art Center has launched the “Ressentiment” project, aimed at studying the human condition amid aggression
11 February, 2015 - 17:57

The term “ressentiment” was coined by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and means experiencing a feeling of hostility directed at the causes of human failure, indignation, and impotent anger. This complex phenomenon, which has lately become part of the Ukrainian reality, is reflected in the works on display.

 The “Ressentiment” shows ideas that come to minds of modern Ukrainian artists as they live amid the undeclared, but very real war in the east of the country. The artists show the human aspect (Ruslan Tremba’s Loss and Anna Myronova’s December) as well as social and historical context of current events (Alina Maksymenko’s Horizon and Danylo Halkin’s National Anthem). Collaborative work by Kateryna Yermolaieva and Larion Lozovy How to Separate/Secede is a thoughtful reflection on human behavior caused by ressentiment. Meanwhile, Anatolii Tverdy’s installation Rage proves that he who raises a weapon against another, sooner or later becomes a target himself...

 “The idea of this project emerged as a response to the events in Ukraine. We began to think about it a year ago,” the exhibition’s curator and gallery manager Maryna Shcherbenko told us. “First of all, our goal is to make the audience think about the issues raised by the artists. It is important for them, even in the difficult life circumstances, to be able to make the right choices and share the disadvantaged people’s pain. We are not putting on display any photos or artworks which emphasize the theme of war, because this theme is so strong and self-sufficient that this point of transition from true art to exploitation is especially evident at the moment. In preparing this project, we felt the need to say that some people around us still lived as if nothing was happening. Furthermore, I would like to see this exhibition on a tour abroad, because my foreign visits show me at once how strong is the contrast in our and their perceptions of the Ukrainian situation.”

 Works on display are designed to provoke a reaction from the audience and give it an impetus to reflect on the deeper meanings, on what one needs to combat within one’s soul to make changes happen in the future.

 The organizers of “Ressentiment” plan to supplement the exhibition with film screenings, lectures, and fiction readings. They also ponder over creating an archive catalog or a magazine which would publish works of art and people’s impressions. The project is open for joining till February 28.

By Natalia VUITIK