The Synii Kit Gallery, located at 18, Potiomkinska St., is hosting a solo exhibition of the local photographer Denys Maksymov, entitled “Freedom Squares: A Rehearsal.” The photos were taken last August in the framework of the Freedom Squares project, which brought together three cities: Kherson, Uzhhorod, and Chernivtsi. The project is aimed at developing public spaces in these cities and establishing links between regions of Ukraine through participatory artistic practices, urban and journalistic studies.
Photographer Maksymov decided to reflect the character of the public spaces of Kherson through the image of a ballerina. “I wanted to show the bright side of our squares, something airy, light, feminine. The idea of a ballerina occurred to me. I got help from Yevhenia Bus, an artist of our Mykola Kulish Regional Theater,” Maksymov told The Day.
His works are special not only in the idea, but also in the materials and approach to photography. The photos that feature a ballerina were shot on technical aerophotofilm of the 1969 vintage, which was long past its expiration date, and with an antique and partly self-made camera. “I love experimenting in photography. As of late, I have stopped doing digital artistic photos,” Maksymov said. “Therefore, not only the project was important, but also this experiment with the film, as well as with the old photographic paper on which the photos were printed. Today, you can achieve whatever effects you want on your computer, but why go for effects if you can do it naturally?”
Another part of the exhibition consists of portraits of the artist’s Kherson friends and local cultural figures. These works are also experimental. They were shot with Maksymov’s self-made camera (also displayed in the gallery) and printed in the old monochrome technique of cyanotype, which was invented back in 1842.