Everyone has their own history of exhaustion
Review on Filonenko, B., German, L., Lanko, M. (eds.), 2022, Pavlo Makov. Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta. Kharkiv: IST Publishing.
Keywords:Fountain of Exhaustion, Pavlo Makov, Venice Biennale, Kharkiv, Borys Filonenko, local myth, auto-archaeology
After every crisis, there is a period of revival and energy recovery. After every peak of development goes decaying and gradual fading of resources. This circulation is inherent to every individual life, political entity, global ecosystem or any other natural or man-made processes. Fountain of Exhaustion by Pavlo Makov suggests to take a look at a segment of this circulation – a present period of all-around exhaustion without any visible improvement or solution in sight.
Pavlo Makov. Fountain of Exhaustion. Acqua Alta is a contextually and chronologically broad narrative about the development of the work of Pavlo Makov, presented at the Ukrainian Pavilion at Venice Biennale 2022. This book is an addition to the pavilion, an individual work that provides wider context for the perception, resonance and interpretations of the Fountain of Exhaustion. The account is divided into 16 chapters that introduce the reader to the exhibitions, projects and other Makov’s artistic practices that are directly connected to the story of the Fountain. The second part of the book consists of short reflections of artists, curators and writers on phenomena related to the story or contexts of the work: exhaustion, water, perception of the past and the present, intimate landscapes etc. Besides the narrative of the development itself, Borys Filonenko, as the author of the main textual section, in the first place tried to reveal the Fountain’s rising above primary Kharkiv context into a wider dimension of global concerns.
Since, as it seems to me, the book contains deeper connections between the chapters and texts at the end, after presenting the structure, I give my reflections about the key parts of the conceptual side of Makov’s artwork, which can be followed throughout the whole book: instability of the form and stability of the idea, the phenomenon of exhaustion, social rejection and local myth, the meaning of water. Moreover, I comment on the presented account of Makov’s joint projects with other artists.
The relevance of this artwork is conditioned by the massive destabilization in many spheres of social and individual lives: world politics, ecology, socially traumatic events. This book sums up the observation on what happens with the un-exhaustible idea and the long-denied exhaustion.
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