Despite often describing myself as a cosmopolitan artist, I frankly have really hard time imagining me living in any other country of the world than my native one, Ukraine. Contrary to what it seems, this statement is as far away from patriotic rhetoric widespread in Ukraine as it could possibly be. Despite trying my best to evade commenting on local cultural and intellectual conditions in my artistic practice, eschewing such a commentary fully seems barely possible. It would have been great to engage in art-making without paying much attention to what’s going on around. It would have been great had art-making been a peaceful weekend amusement. To me, however, the lesson of the bartlebian «I’d prefer not to» is exactly the opposite one: art isn’t a way to escape from reality, but rather a non-compliance framework.
I distinguish between loud art and quiet art. I have to confess: my heart is with the latter. Notwithstanding that the world we all share is an extremely noisy place, where being blaring seems to be the only way to be heard or noticed, contemporary art doesn’t necessarily have to go down exact same route. In fact, the political capacity of art, its potential to make a difference, works best when the spectacularity, Instagram-irresistibility, transgression and provocation are being put aside. Quiet art doesn’t mean mute art. On the contrary: while deafening art stimulates selfies, quiet art incites the discourse.