Ya Gallery Art Center: Hidden Vegetation/ Sergei Degtiaryov

Hidden Vegetation. Sergei Degtiaryov

20.02 – 11.03.13

Vegetation. Quiet Life of a Wasteland…

 Today we speak of vacuum, where past morality ended up in. But there are things that grow into this emptiness…

 …I am not guilty that I organically grew into rusted constructs, disabled mechanisms, abandoned places. A civilized person, that I am, is uncontrollably drawn to these disgusting decaying old rags… I am not guilty, nor are those that love unrequitedly, not for some traits, but in spite of them… Childhood impressions usually influence what the person grows up to be… We remember the smells of air and earth, rotting grass, how times of the year smell differently… In my memory are also imprinted the smells of coal furnace and wet rust, sulphur smell from terricones, factory emissions' poisonous fumes. They became world's greatest perfumes for me, and barracks and khrushchevkas – architecture of wondrous beauty…

People walk by and don't see what's close – hidden vegetation growing through us. Either memory, or conscience. There is a quality to a man that doesn't allow him to become overgrown like an abandoned garden, and old soil will definitely give sprouts, shoots that will carry its memory further.

 Aleksey Tolstoy wrote in his letter to Korney Chukovsky: "I don't know if you feel with such piercing sharpness what is homeland, your own sun over the roof? We must still be very primitive and there is still a lot of vegetation in us, and it is good, without it we would be just allegories. Though our roof is poor, we are alive under it".

This project is about love for homeland. It is not about Ukraine or Russia. it is about the homeland beyond politics, religion, societal life. That is the essence of life, the reality itself. Here is love for the land, objects and everything that grew into it or that it gave birth to, like myself. Love for the moment lived in this place, here and now.

 They say that what was created by man doesn't concern nature. This rule works until nature starts to transform these creations. They are ennobled, rusted, become a symbiotic continuation of the live, fuse with it completely. This is harmony.

 …This is the nature I saw in childhood. Then, later in life, I encountered beautiful forests without armature sticking from the ground. And streams that you can just drink from, not being scared of them turning out to be drains from a cooling pool. I didn't know such places when I was a child. I dug up rusted iron fragments twenty centimeters deep, sincerely believing that I found metal and a mine should be built. I was surprised at your planet's riches: I found pieces of linoleum, and accumulator lead and some bottles… An orphaned space, incredibly rich, and therefore unbearably poor…

It is all a wasteland, and in it – out hidden vegetation… From it, through sweet memory and pain, a live soul grows.  

Sergei Degtiaryov         

Sergei Degtiaryov was born in Donetsk on November 4, 1986.

In 2006 he graduated from Donetsk Art School, and in 2012 – from the national Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture.

Since 2005 he has been author and participant in personal and group projects, among which are two persona exhibitions in Kyiv gallery TSEKH – “Lebensraum” (2006) and “01” (2008), group project “Color. Young Ukrainian Contemporary Art” in culture and exhibition center “Galilei” in Moscow. Last time the artist’s works were exhibited in Kyiv gallery TSEKH in 2008 as part of a group project “What I Did instead of Serving in the Army?” After a three-year pause to study that started in 2009 he returned to creating artwork in 2013. “Hidden Vegetation” is Serhiy Dehtiariov’s first project in art-center Ya Gallery after the break.

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