"Spectacle - 1"

Artem Volokitin

Year of realization: 2015

Technique: oil on canvas

Size: 300 x 170 cm

In his new painting, Artem Volokitin addresses war as a spectacle, focusing on the act of violence. His monumental canvas deals with the horror of the sublime and the deeply emotional aspects of war. Within an abstracted black and white horizon, two types of explosions create sensational events on the forefront of the picture. The first type of explosion is fireworks, an expression of joy, beauty and victory. The other is a nearly photo-realistic, painted cloud, resulting from a violent explosion during a bombardment. The background landscape is reduced, painted with fading black lines, reminding us of landscape etchings. The horizon evades reality to become an anonymous background to the sublimity of the violence.

One topic of Volokitin’s painting is how the medialization of war directs our view. Through television, radio and social media the battlefield finds an extension into the living room. To look upon the world and the Ukrainian conflict with distance has become extremely difficult, as space is consumed by media reports with a singular narrative. This creates a tunnel vision reducing the diversification of the metaphorical landscape while concentrating on the spectacular, the drama and the hollow victories of war.

“Hope for me is a highly concentrated substance. Even a trace amount is enough to transform any reality.”

Artem Volokitin

Artem Volokitin.