10 Questions to Maryna Shcherbenko from The “Business” Magazine

10 Questions to Maryna Shcherbenko from The “Business” Magazine

5 March 2019

1. What are the current preferences of Ukrainians in art, and do they coincide with the
world trends?

– The demand for "skills" and the tendency to substitute – market success becomes (became) a measure of the quality of art – still exist. And this is typical not only for Ukraine.

2. Who (or what) creates the art trends in Ukraine?

– “Art trends” – a phrase that already grates on one’s ear. Fashion is something typical, popular for a certain period of time. While the true art exists out of time.

What is important – it is the ability to see, understand, and accept art for a dialogue to take place. As the art historian John Berger remarked, “We never look at one thing, we look at the relationship between things and us.”

3. Can you briefly describe the essence of the contemporary art that would allow a viewer
to orient?

– Mainly people simply understand the art as a tool for displaying plots of life, natural landscapes, objects, people with an emphasis on attractiveness, age, clothing, emotions and other components that can capture in detail the features of the time at which the work was created.

At the same time, we lose the significance of symbolic value (the symbolic value – a term introduced by the German art historian Isabelle Graw, who describes the complex qualities of the art work, which create its special status of superiority and uniqueness – Ed.) – the main component of art that justifies the need to create it, storage and exhibit.

Nowadays, all the accompanying texts and actions, the support of exhibitions by the institutions, the interaction of curators, critics and patrons are aimed at creating and preserving precisely this value, which distinguishes the subject of art from any other object of consumption.

4. Could you highlight the key project of "Shcherbenko Art Center" during the last year?

– Contest “MUHI” (“Young Ukrainian Artists”). In November finalists’ exhibition took place at the Taras Shevchenko National Museum.

5. Tell us more about the project, which takes place at the "Shcherbenko Art Center" at the time of the interview.

– We collected the key video works for 2006-2016 years of Danylo Galkin, the winner of “MUHI 2011”, in the project “Video”. The process of creating the artist’s own style, his constant search and the desire to experiment is shown in these videos.

6. Does Shcherbenko Art Center work now in the field of the social-critical art?

– We refer to the various topics that concern both Ukrainian and the world community. For example, the project Golden Coal from the art group of artists from Luhansk region “Soupset”, was implemented in the format of the presentation of the journal on the underground culture of modern youth of Donbas.

The glossy colorful magazine in the style of the 1990s is a bright and precise form, draws the attention of the reader to the amazing coexistence of self-abandonment and creativity, social constraint and impulse of self-expression. He therefore fits into a series of initiatives aimed at analyzing the situation of the inhabitants of Eastern Ukraine and its cultural saturation.

7. Could you name the top 5 world galleries that inspire you?
– Victoria Miro, Lisson Gallery, White Cube, David Zwirner Gallery, Hauser & Wirth.

8. How competitive is the art market?

– Competition motivates development and improvement in any business, and we are not an exception. Although the Ukrainian art market is small, we are struggling both for clients and for artists.

9. What business literature do you read?

“The Price of Art” by Judith Benamu-Yue, “Ways of Curating” by Hans Ulrich Obrist, “Inside the White Cube” by Brian O`Doherty, “Speed Thinking Marketing” by Adrian Slywotzky and David Morrison and many others.

10. “Shcherbenko Art Centre” in ten years – it is…

– Ten years is a symbolic time limit that allows you to sum up interim results. In February 2018, it will be ten years since I opened the first exhibition and published the first catalog.

People, experience, knowledge, events that happened during this time are priceless for me. There are many plans, some of them will be implemented, and something will turn out to be uninteresting and irrelevant later … I`m sure there will be fewer compromises with myself.

Additional information:
Business №41 from 09.10.2017