Sergei Polyakov’s exhibition “Out of Time”


Sergei Polyakov’s exhibition “Out of Time”

From April 28 to May 28, the Odesa Museum of Western and Eastern Art in cooperation with the Museum of Odesa Modern Art will host a solo exhibition of Odesa-based photographer Serhiy Polyakov.

Sergei Polyakov’s exhibition, which this city had been waiting for for many years, turned out to be a challenge for both the city and the artist himself. The truism “uniqueness of vision” takes on a new life in his case, because the artist’s sense of time, people, and space cannot be confused with anyone else’s.

At one of his previous presentations, Polyakov half-ironically and half-seriously called his current sense of reality “post-decadence,” referring to the unhurried entropy of the old world and the absurd moments of the present. A passing nature. He gives his works seemingly noncommittal descriptions such as “a little sad, a little funny, a little melancholy, reflecting my mood”. However, the longer the viewer gazes into his “abysses of everyday life,” the more they feel their scrutiny on themselves. There is no cynicism in his works, but there is a considerable disappointment, the reasons for which are constantly provided by reality. These are chronicles of the fatigue of spirit and matter.

But despite his melancholy (overt and covert), Polyakov is not a singer of gloom and hopelessness. Rather, he creates visual mythogenic motifs that are connected to reality only by context. Isn’t his definition of photography as a “blend” of literature and geometry the same protective layer between himself and the routine absurdity?

The philosopher Rüdiger Safranski wrote: “Romanticism as an epoch has passed, but romanticism as a worldview remains. It almost always comes into play when dissatisfaction with reality and conventionality seeks escape, change, or the possibility of transcendence.”

Escapism and the desire for the transcendent sometimes generate significant reflections and at the same time are documents of the era. All of the artist’s works are “pregnant” with a story, where every detail works for it, where you inevitably start thinking about the context and the development of the plot. Poliakov usually does not work in “series” where it is easy to build a story, each of his photographs is a “thing in itself.”

Yulia Manukyan


Opening of the exhibition: April 28 at 15:00

The exhibition will last until May 28, 2024

Address: 9 Pushkinska St., Museum of Western and Eastern Art

Entrance fee: free on the opening day / then – 100 UAH

Curators of the exhibition: Yulia Manukian, Anna Morokhovsky