Art exhibit highlights Ukrainian culture “Three

By: Lydia Rogers ~Staff Writer~

Ukrainian culture and heritage are currently being highlighted on Xavier’s campus with the “Three Intuitions” photography exhibit.

On Jan. 25, Exhibit Co-curators Gregory Rust and Guennadi Maslov teamed up with Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister-City Partnership to bring the art exhibit to the Gallagher Student Center (GSC).

The exhibit showcases photography from three well-known Ukrainian photographers, Andrey Avdeenko, Mstyslav Chernov and Igor Manko, who each portray their perceptions of life in Ukraine.

The exhibit demonstrates how modern artists are able to expose various and sometimes contradictory visions of a single subject.

The photos are being displayed on the second floor of the GSC and will remain on display through May 2015.

The opening of the exhibit was followed by a “Conversation on Today’s Ukraine” discussion where students, faculty and staff had the opportunity to openly discuss the artistic merits of the exhibit as well as the current conflict in Ukraine and the United States’ role in the issue.

Three Intuitions” showcases artwork from Ukrainian photographers, Mstyslav Chernov, Igor Manko and Andrey Avdeenko
“Three Intuitions” showcases artwork from Ukrainian photographers, Mstyslav Chernov, Igor Manko and Andrey Avdeenko

“The goal was to highlight different ways photography serves in a contemporary society,” Maslov said. “The Ukraine is a contemporary country, and the cultural background is seen in all of these pictures.”

Although all of the artists’ works comment on Ukrainian culture, they all take different approaches in telling their stories. Avdeenko’s photos are portraits of people in the simple country side.

“Enveloped in their rural settings, the country people possess a distinct feeling of self-sufficiency,” Avdeenko said. “Today, they shape the future for the coming generations. They are the heroes of their time yet do not reflect on it. These are the people who create the unique coloring of their place, time and epoch.”

Chernov’s images are also people-centered, but they capture more dramatic events that take and conflicts. Chernov specializes in documenting problematic situations in different countries, and the images displayed in the GSC depict the recent events that have taken place in Kiev.

Manko’s photos are meant to explore the world rather than document it. Manko captures different landscapes, and he uses the natural elements to his advantage. In his Karadağ Series, Manko incorporates the Karadağ Mountains into his images in one way or another.

“The whole exhibit is an introduction of photographic life in a county that is not very well-known here,” Maslov said. “That is the country where I was born and grew up before I came to this country. It is very nostalgic, but at the same time, a very important piece of information that I’m trying to spread anywhere I can.”

Maslov hopes that having the exhibit in a main hub on campus will give students the opportunity to learn more about a country they may not be too familiar with as well as gain an appreciation for artistic talent.

“By seeing the pictures on the wall, maybe people will find answers to some of their own questions,” Maslov said. “Maybe they can come across new ideas about life in other counties and ways of life depicted through the camera lens.”
Maslov hopes to eventually take the exhibit to a number of other locations across the country and possibly bring the featured artists along with him.
“The ‘Three Intuitions’ is a product of patience and love to the country in turmoil,” Maslov said.