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Photos provided by The Naked Room, 2020. Photographer: Yevhen Nikiforov.


paintings, graphic works, sculptures, levkas
The Naked Room, Kyiv (Ukraine)

Real dinosaurs at VDNG, a paleontologist’s body, that became a museum artifact together with his discoveries, an exhibition of sculpture in the medium of photography, a lost purse on a museum bench or a shot film roll are just some subjects from Katya Buchatska’s projects created in the past 5 years. The more exhibitions and interventions were held, the more her artistic method and circle of interests became evident. They consist in her fascination with extra-human forms of life and experiences, in failures and mistakes in perception and representation of artistic artifacts, in deconstruction of a medium, be it sculpture or photography, in visual puns and the humor on the verge of political correctness. But in every new show Katya surprised by a new formal approach, by choices of media, and spatial display, so it became almost impossible to recognize her authorship from the signature style.

Eventually it is the studio visit that allows to summarise all the various shapes of Katya’s practice. Exactly there, in the abandoned, but very carefully furnished old house on Lukyanivska Street, the artifacts and works from the previous projects reside side by side with the tools of their creation—the forms, sketches, preliminary castings, with personal belongings, which in their form and spirit are art, and also with the works that for some reasons escaped from public presentation: oil paintings, levkas, and graphic works. This amazing world is made up of groundbreaking images, complicated and rare artistic techniques, incomprehensible plots and simple jokes, but also with melancholy and pain, which can be felt almost physically.

For The Naked Room exhibition, we tried to create a concentrated bulk of Katya Buchatska’s world. The exhibition opens with a concrete dog from the “MARA” project. In the original project every sculpture had its twin, but in “A Very Personal Show” there’s only his shadow left, which is the model made from paper and scotch, wittily entitled “Scotch Terrier”.

Katya’s distinctive humor is present almost in every other work’s subject matter. In her comic-like levkas “Food Chain” we see a man slaughtering a pig in one panel and a boy with his grandmother is feeding lard to titmouses in the other. Then there’s a fluorescent landscape of a volcanic eruption and a man who rejects to escape and instead of this shouts the word “Werner”, that refers us to Werner Herzog, who made a film of the same plot. There’s a big painting devoted to nothing more but kerning, the optimal spacing between letters, and to the inability to use this in practice. There is an even bigger painting with images of strange figures, which lie on the floor of the flamboyantly furnished room, a shewolf and an inscription in an unknown language—everything appears to be “live streams” from the different times of Sistine Chapel existence. There’s also a blue sea as a universal dream, which is in fact of totally different colour and even the whales, one of which is concrete and another is his twin, have thrown themselves out of it...

Retelling the depicted stories is as exciting as it is futile because Katya’s world fascinates exactly with its incomprehensibility. But the artist has left hope to us—the possibility to complete the exhibition journey in the installation “Paradise Operator”, where everyone can make their own choice—YES or NO.

Maria Lanko, Lizaveta German
co-founders The Naked Room

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