"There are no tyrannies that would not try to limit art, because they can see the power of art. Art can tell the world things that cannot be shared otherwise. It is art that conveys feelings."

 - Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine 

Уяви Україну – Митець як свідок / Imagine Ukraine – The Artist as a Witness

©Nikolay Karabinovych. Photo: Pat Verbruggen
Successive Slidings to Emptiness / Поступове сковзання у порожнечу, 2014

The Maidan revolution lead to a dynamic and inclusive reflection on the national identity in Ukraine. As part of that, contemporary thinking and art embraced, thematised and reactivated traditional national symbols. In this drawing of 2014 Nikolay Karabinovych reflects on one of the symbols of Ukraine, the so called Tryzub, the coat of arms of Ukraine, a stylised trident symbol in gold on a blue shield, that first emerged in the times of Kyivan Rus' as a symbol of the Rurik dynasty.

Karabinovych reflects on how a fixed symbol can become alive, and how in a stylised form can be related to a tangle of vital movements, a trajectory that doesn’t have a fixed orientation. The title, ‘Successive Slidings to Emptiness’, is a variation on the title of a film of the French Nouvelle vague filmmaker Alain Robbe-Grillet, ‘Glissements progressifs du plaisir’ or ‘Successive Slidings of Pleasure’. For Karabinovych the notion of emptiness is related to the absence of time, it is because of that an undefinable place, related to  eternity.