Ya Gallery, Dnipropetrovsk: Proverbs

Proverbs. Andriy Khir

21.06 – 25.07.13

The Fish Starts to Rot at the Head, 2012, acrylic and embroidery on canvas

"Prypovidky" (further: proverbs) is a concept that, in Western Ukraine, describes such types of folklore as proverbs and sayings. Brief, figurative and rhythmical philosophic aphorisms, expressed by people with irony and sarcasm. Filled with deep meaning, they are wise judgements, confined to one short and succinct phrase. The point, the essential, the selected.

Proverbs are generally perceived as stable text elements. We use these phrases in our conversations as if automatically – without visualizing or consideration. Let's take, for example, the saying "to the tree devils" (English equivalent: "to hell"). I only recently realized that it deals with devils, with three of them, in fact. And because of this they become even more symbolic. That's why visualizing proverbs, seeing them as a plot, not only text, was so unexpected and interesting for me. And their plots, as it turned out, can be strange and ambiguous.

Proverbs are short parables, and this project is, in its essence, illustrations to them. I tried to regard proverbs as a screenplay of sorts. This doesn't exclude its moral component, on the contrary – it should highlight its ideological significance. Meaning that the picture must serve as an addition to the text and encourage its most thorough comprehension, and the text will remain the main element of the visual.  

Proverbs is one of the most ancient folklore genres. These are text symbols passed on by many generations. We, for instance, use the same sayings as our ancestors did many centuries ago, before the advent of writing. They contain elements of the ancient worldview, religion and magic.

In our days, as well as in the ancient times, proverbs are frequently used in speech regardless of population category, age or social status. Though these phrases have come to us from ancient times, they don't lose their relevance and content, for they are succinct thoughts, that are, moreover, easily adapted, transformed and can acquire a new meaning.

Andriy Khir, 2013  

Ya Gallery art center in Dnipropetrovsk

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