Espacio Minimo

Sergey Bratkov

19 Feb - 01 Apr 2010

© Sergey Bratkov
Romantics, 2009
"Male Games"

February 19th to April 1st, 2010
Private View: Friday, February 19, at 20:00

An image from Misanthrope, SERGEY BRATKOV’s previous exhibition in this gallery, is his starting point for new work in which he depict his native Ukraine. Thsi new work is what makes up Male Games, his third exhibition at Espacio Minimo.
The exhibition shows a selection of large format panoramic photographs in the gallery’s first room, with the remaining images in the series being projected in the basement room. Through these images BRATKOV performs a narrative journey through contemporary Ukraine, capturing the country’s unusual and surreal beauty with no recourse to digital manipulation, thus showing the real transformation it has gone through in recent years.
With this work the artists shows the cultural and economic changes that have occurred in Ukraine. Thorugh personal stories, and without abandoning his previous works’ characteristic sense of humour, he documents its specific reality and the peculiarity of its inhabitants.
The show is completed with a projection in the gallery’s main space of the video Endless War, a powerful metaphor of the other male “game” which, via an endless video loop, the artist uses to make a powerful political comment. The emptiness of the soldiers’ helmets, loudly hitting against the floor, makes evident the absence of human forms, giving the images a simultaneous feeling of nostalgia and absurdity.
As is the norm with BRATKOV’s work his reflections about social structures, ever-changing in a transitive country like Ukraine, create a provocative body of socially engaged work.

SERGEY BRATKOV (Kharkov, Ukraine, 1960) Lives and works in Moscow. From 1970 to 1978 he studied at Repin Art College in Kharkov, and from 1978 to 1983 he attended the Polytechnical Academy in the same city. From 1994 to 1997 he was a part of the Fast Reaction Group along with Boris Mikhailov, Vita Mikhailova and Sergey Solonsky. He represented Russia in the 50th and 52nd Venice Bienale, at the 25th Sao Paulo Bienal, at Manifesta 5 in San Sebastian, and at the first two Bienals in Moscow. He has had solo shows at important museums and public institutions such as Kunstverein Rosenheim in Rosenheim (Germany, 2002), Centre for Contemporary Art in Kiev (Ukraine, 2003), S.M.A.K. Museum de Gante (Belgium, 2005), Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow (Russia, 2006), Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead (United Kingdom, 2007), Fotomuseum Winterthur in Winterthur (Switzerland, 2008) and Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev (Ukraine, 2010) as well as being part of distinguished collective shows in museums, institutions, and art centre across the world.
His work is inc luded in the collections of MuKKA Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp (Belgium), Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (Croatia), Museum of Photography in Boston (U.S.A.), Zimmerli Art Museu in New Brunswick, New Jersey (U.S.A.), Museum of Contemporary Art in Milwaukee (U.S.A.), S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art de Gante (Belgiuim), MARTa Herford Museum of Contemporary Art in Herford (Germany), Centro Gallego de Arte Contemporanea in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev (Ukraine) or Ekaterina Fundation in Moscú (Russia), amongst other important public collections.

Tags: Sergey Bratkov, Boris Mikhailov