R O U N D W E A T H E R
Yulia Pinkusevich: Very Yellow-White Flash
June 3 - July 23, 2022
Reception: Friday June 3, 6 - 9 PM
Floodlight on Yulia Pinkusevich: Very Yellow-White Flash. Round Weather is surprised and thrilled to present prescient and anciently haunted artworks from across Pinkusevich’s career to date. As an emigrant of Kharkiv, Ukraine whose art has long delivered historically psychological charges, Pinkusevich sheds potent light on the current world-reordering war in Ukraine. She has an electric gift for mark-making across human systems and evoking the marks made on us by buried spiritual traditions and mass deaths foretold. Her work also releases that particular energy generated when appreciating art is a form of appreciating life.
Her grand-scale, Tarot-shaped Sakha series feels as though seen from different parts of the eye and mind and is based in Pinkusevich recently learning her maternal ancestors were indigenous Siberians of the Asiatic Sakha region, a people who practiced shamanism and were pushed toward annihilation by white Russians. The archetypal atmospherics would be at home in the misty pagan passages of Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev. Pinkusevich describes how the series “meditates upon the ancient Siberian beliefs that all humans are embodied by three Spirits. The Spirit of Earth, Spirit of the Mother and the Spirit of Air.” The pitch black waving lines in the Sakha series’ Spirit of Air might rest toward the tip of one’s vision while the white flash above feels more as though entering ocular fluid. The light’s inner flesh tones move through smoked milk spaces until received by the back of the eye and skull-crossing visual context. To different degrees (ranging to erasure), we’re all reaching through our bodily imaginaries to our ancestors. Pinkusevich gives this search visual form, an idea underscored by tracing the scattered trail of the surreal blue fish-eye-sperm’s swim to its source: the group (family? tribe?) of shrouded, amorphous light sources with their horse.
Pinkusevich writes that her lively yet meditative Isorithm series begun in 2018 is based in a “Cold War era, declassified military manual which gave step by step instructions on how to create maps that predict the impact of nuclear bomb airbursts; showing fatal and non-fatal casualty isorithms over particular types of habitable regions.” As the title directs, many imagine music in these works’ very orange-red lines, ink, and charcoal notations-gestures-events. In the spirit of Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment, Pinkusevich writes, “I was struck by the immense tension between the elegant geometries and rational calculations of these maps, juxtaposed against the irrational chaos and mass destruction they represent.” Alexander Nemerov writes of the Isorithm series, “This work is as ranging and inventive as the wind, truly as free as can be—it takes its dose of ‘the real world’ not as a guilt-inducing reduction of that pleasure, not as a required terror that, as it were, ‘allows’ the freedom; but as one and the same thing as the freedom.” Gaston Bachelard writes in Air and Dreams that “air is the very substance of our freedom, the substance of superhuman joy.” Pinkusevich delivers such liberation in one formal flash.
In 2015 Yulia Pinkusevich first made the harp-taut and spray-painterly Silencing the Cacophony. She describes how the Euromaidan protests in Ukraine “began in 2013 after Russia blocked it from entering the European Union. This piece utilizes the aesthetic of protest and media depictions of resistance.” Major braided concerns of Pinkusevich are explored in this work: gestalts of physiological impact and historical imprint. “It captures the energy and feeling of peoples uprisings around the globe,” while utilizing dazzle camo and digital cam obfuscation. The source images are taken from drone and surveillance footage during the Maidan Uprisings in Kyiv. They engage sensations on the ground and sensationalism from above.
Very Yellow-White Flash is a career-spanning exhibition including pieces from Pinkusevich’s series Nuclear Suns, charcoal drawings made in Death Valley, CA of its historic nuclear tests; Mind Maps, robotic machine drawings of the artist’s brain waves during meditation sessions; and Q series, a daily practice during the first months of Covid quarantine where she made an ink mark for each of her breaths. Mushroom spore prints and an installation of red-painted oak galls are also engendered by Pinkusevich’s eye and intellection. Screening is her Manifold video of the ocean’s edge turned on its head. If making a miracle of the ordinary is a primary aim of art, in Manifold art’s mission is accomplished. A vital thread across Pinkusevich’s work is her sculptures of energy–what powers us and our systems. Her Sentiment of an Invisible Omniscience is an electrified wall drawing inspired by panoptic architecture. Her Maximum Capacity sculpture of scavenged capacitors on wood is a beautiful rendering of Silicon Valley wealth concentration. Pinkusevich’s captivating work is wise to panopticapitalism. She also explores what happens when we pull the floodlight’s plug.