Project “30×40”

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UCC is pleased (Berlin) to present a new exhibition by Ukrainian artist Sofiia Golubeva (Odesa). All the works of the series are divided into pieces of 30×40 cm — this is the size of hand luggage and this is the format in which Sofiia had to put everything important, including her artwork when leaving Ukraine.

Today is a time when the artist has to adapt to particularly difficult conditions. Sofiia adapts and composes each work in the format of 30×40 cm. The traces formed on the works are the traces of her present.

“I started this series in August 2022 when I visited my father in my hometown Odesa, Ukraine.

From my house, it’s a two-minute walk to the sea, so Arcadia beach is a special place for me, with which I have been connected since my childhood. It has always been one of the most visited places in the city. This summer, I saw the beach for the first time since the full-scale invasion. Now people come to the sea, but they cannot step on the sand because of the mines. The distance to the paintings is an important aspect of this project: in Odessa you can only see the sea from afar.

Wild plants sprout now from the sand. For me, these plants are a symbol of Ukrainian strength. In addition, they state that despite the war they have their own life. This time I felt a completely new, apocalyptic atmosphere there.

I also noticed the rusty metal structures that have always been part of this seascape. I never thought about what function they performed. But this time I asked my father. These are old structures, on which, once, in Soviet times, heavy slates ware laid, which created a shadow for beach-goers. These structures are ghosts of the Soviet Union. If we decide to «bring them back to life» and put heavy slates on them, they will break.

Here I see an analogy with the imperialist desire of Russia to regain its influence over the former members of the Soviet Union. This is an attempt to restore the old system, to bring back to life what is already dead.

It is an unsuccessful and unwanted attempt.

One of the works in this series is also related to the experience of being in Ukraine during the full-scale invasion. When the air alarm is over in the city of Uzhhorod you can hear the words «End of anxiety» (if translated literally from Ukrainian).

The outside “anxiety” ends, but the one that comes from inside does not.”

(Sofiia Golubeva)

The series «30×40» embodies today’s difficult time of adjustment but at the same time the power to find solutions.

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