Monument / Platforms
2011 - 2013
Consist of one-channel video, 8 mins., 2 sets of 4 sculptures, granite, 45 x 20 x 30 cm each.
The work by Mykola Ridnyi consists of two corresponding elements: sculptures entitled “Platforms” and a documentary film called “Monument”. The sculptural plinth is usually more than an auxiliary detail. However, from a symbolic point of view, it provides both platform and base for the sculpture's construction and development. After the break-up of the Soviet Union, when political priorities changed and older monuments were dismantled while new ones constructed, a burning question began to emerge: what do these changes represent and are they necessary or appropriate? The political debate on the notion of the plinth or the absence of it is the main background for these works, which also cite the Constructivism of 1920s Soviet architecture. “Monument”, the documentary film, shows the process of dismantling a Soviet monument in Kharkiv. Contemporary workers implement the removal of the symbols of worker heroes within the program of modernizing public spaces for EURO-2012 championship. Labor is now no longer the embodiment of heroism, since it has absorbed indifference, ignobility, disrespect – main components of the capitalistic rat race. This paradoxical situation lets us see more clearly the transformations of both the role of labor and the figure of the worker in contemporary society and history.
This work was shown at "On/Off", special project of the 4th Moscow biennial for contemporary art, 2011; Arsenale, 1st Kyiv biennial for contemporary art, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kyiv, 2012; "The Monument to A Monument", National Pavillion of Ukraine at the 55th Venice biennial for Contemporary Art, 2013; "In the Heart of the Country", exhibition of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, 2013; "Becoming by Recalling", Linkoping konsthall, Linkoping, 2015; "Picture This. Selected Pasts / Subverted Facts", Budapest Gallery, 2019 and other venues. It was acquired to the collections of V-A-C Foundation in Moscow and Museum for Modern Art in Warsaw (with two different sets of sculptures accordingly).
"Picture This. Selected Pasts / Subverted Facts", Budapest Gallery, 2019. Photo: Tamás G. Juhász
"On/Off", special project of the 4th Moscow biennial for contemporary art, 2011. Photo: Mykola Ridnyi