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ART-TALK: DIMA MIKITENKO

We continue a series of author interviews from representatives of the newly inspired team of the Odessa Art Museum: the curator Masha Zeloleva and PR-shchika Hera Grudeva. As part of the project, our heroes, who are directly part of the Ukrainian art sphere, share their thoughts on contemporary art, its role in Ukrainian society and the iconic works of the Odessa Art Museum. This time Masha Zeloeva spoke with artist Dima Mykytenko, who in his works combines arbitrary forms with graphic elements, creating his own visual poetry.
Is there a chance for modern Ukrainian art to become popular outside Ukraine?
I think that it is quite possible, only such things are not made by themselves. This implies a large and specific volume of work, both from the artistic institutions and from the state. Because I believe that it is incorrect to demand a serious attitude or to impose on other countries the myth of Ukrainian contemporary art, which in Ukraine is in an uncertain state, and exists solely on the initiative of the artists themselves and private patronage. In other words, the state does not seriously perceive contemporary art as an instrument for building an international cultural image and policy of Soft Power; even as a complete internal fixation and archiving of the processes of the present. At least it looks so long.
What needs to be done to popularize contemporary Ukrainian art abroad?
First of all, contemporary art is exclusively intellectual content with a specific target audience, therefore, its distribution, rather than popularization, is more appropriate.
Often they say that Ukrainian society is ready to accept decorative art in museums, but it still works with great difficulty with contemporary art. Is there a chance that queues will be built on contemporary art exhibitions?
In this issue a lot depends on the museums themselves, namely on their format of work, policy of recitation, content and communication conditions. In the modern world, the museum is a full-fledged and self-sufficient institution that can well earn on itself and the city. It is not about renting halls of a museum for a fur coat or a decorative stone, but about attracting middle class consumers of cultural products and potentially influential in the life of the city of investors.
Another should clearly distinguish the trip to the museum from the field of entertainment (entertainment), that is, the museum can not be a competitor to concert halls and cinemas.
Which three artists would you call 2018 artists?
Can you name underestimated Ukrainian artists?
Can not.
Contemporary art predominantly finds representation in galleries of contemporary art. Should it be more in museums?
Well, this question, apparently, is not resolved only in our country. In the world, this process of the presence of contemporary art in classical museums and museums of contemporary art is global in nature. He has been configured for several decades.
Do you have a favorite foreign museum for which you are following?
Museu Colecao Berardo – Modern and Contemporaty Art Museum in Lisboa / Portugal.
What is the museum for you as a whole? Your definition of the museum.
Apparently this is a cult, a huge institution in the center of the city, where a large number of people come, to gather spiritual and intellectual values ​​and become part of the beautiful.
What 5 works of the Odessa Art Museum would you call the main ones?
Unfortunately, I could see the museum’s collection only on photos and videos. It can not form an objective impression about works of art. I think it would be worthwhile to include in the exposition more works of contemporary authors, in order to be able to draw some parallels, compare, talk about historical contexts, sequence of practices, likely interactions. This involves serious curatorial work. Otherwise, the museum will resemble an antique shop or a closed archive. I know that in the walls of the Odessa Art Museum the painting of Vladimir Ralko has recently appeared. Of course, this is a good start. For only the next to something new, modern, one can fully appreciate the works that have been preserved for years by the museum, which, in fact, is a classic.

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