Storytelling in a surrealistic space

Mohsen Izad Panah

“A Reason for Happiness” is the title of an artwork by Ukrainian artist, “Michael Yushchenko”, which was presented at eighth international sculpture symposium of Tehran. This artwork is formed with a surrealistic approach and it is illustrates an imaginary memorial of an unknown existence. Whatever this existence is, it comes from unconsciousness of the artist's mind or it wants to aim for unconsciousness of the viewer's. This ambiguity about the existence of the created volume makes numerous perceptions from his artwork possible and draws the viewer’s imagination. How will the nature of this existence be formed in the eyes of the viewer? Will this volumetric artwork, which consists of some interlocked parts, trigger the curiosity of the viewer from this aspect that the exact identity of the artwork refers to which existence or that the artwork is just a reason for the viewer to extent his/her imagination and enjoy from it. It seems that the main purpose of the artist was to take the viewer to this imaginary trip because otherwise he should have put more accurate picture symptoms in the artwork to lead the audience to a particular existence. Is the artwork title “A Reason for Happiness” the same joyful experience of extending the imagination of the viewer? If it is so, how will the artist make this experience possible?

For the creation of this artwork, “Michael Yushchenko” has chosen a form which can have a multi-faceted identity or evoke very different existences for the viewer. The thing that we are sure about the sculpture is that despite of being unknown and free of shape, it basically seems bodily or figurative to a great extent. But what is this volumetric artwork specifically? Is it a picture of a living or non-living thing? Is it an object belonging to the historical past or an object from future? The artist invites the viewer to face his artwork in this interstitial and uncertain space. But is the artist aware of the creation he has created or he has seen this image in his imagination and unconsciousness and now he wants to share it with the viewer? When we are facing the artwork with its unknown existence, it is expected to come to the result that maybe it is asking for the answer from the viewer by sharing an artwork which he is not completely aware of its nature; could you help me understand what this creature exactly is? As far as it is related to the imagination of the viewer, this artwork could be anything. A piece of an ancient ship buried in the depths of the ocean, an equipment which inhabitants of other planets of the sky were using for a reason, or a kind of animal belonging to prehistoric era that has ruled the earth for a period of time.

But maybe all of these and many other mental associations and simulations are what the artist intended, and he is willing to hear them from the viewers. Surely, to say the artist is not letting the imaginative mind of the viewer to stop at any of these forms. He does not deny that each of these imaginations about the nature of the existence which he has shown, is possible or even interesting but the structure of artworks shows clearly that the artist is after something more. Soft and slippery connection of parts of this creature gives a kind of fluidity to the form of the artwork. Lines and surfaces of the artwork takes the form certainty from the artwork smoothly and in an infinite circle, and it creates a feeling in the viewer that at any moment the form of the artwork is different from the form of it in the past and future moments; it transfers from a form to another and it tells a story of a long event. Is it a version of One Thousand and One Nights?

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