IS/NOT. Volt Agapeyev, Dima Tolkachov

02.06.2023 - 25.06.2023

Dymchuk Gallery presents IS / NOT, Volt Agapeyev and Dima Tolkachov’s project consisting mostly of works created after the beginning of the full-scale invasion. 

The abstract graphics made by Volt were created with white and black ink on paper and tracing paper. They depict smoldering ruins as if they the remnants of the destroyed cities of the East. Dima Tolkachov’s photos record bullet hole-ridden facades of buildings, automobiles, and other objects in the town of Irpin, resembling faces that arouse a sheer intimidation. This phenomenon is called pareidolia, a tendency to recognize familiar images in real objects, e.g., seeing human faces or animals in inanimate things like clouds or mountains.

The project is focused on visually perceptible changes in common sight the war brought to us along with destruction and annihilation, in the gaps that managed to creep into the usual flow of familiar images, and in the way the consciousness examines those gaps, endeavoring to identify something known, such as city streets, or faces of passers-by. The exhibition features ‘Soleros’, a work Volt Agapeyev created in 2021 in Soledar during the ‘Zazemlennya (Grounding)’ artist-in-residence program. The other two works, ‘Apertures’ and ‘Ghosts’ were created in 2023 specifically for the IS / NOT project. Dima Tolkachov presents two series of colour photos, ‘New weeds’, taken in the town of Irpin in 2022, and ‘Faces’, made in 2022.

is / not

War creates gaps: on the surface of the city, as well as in ourselves. But those gaps are never absolute. Absence is always a potential for a new presence.

Numerous holes made by bomb explosions inhabit cities with masks of pareidolia which one tends to notice more often than familiar faces.

Topographic maps are turning into traces of the past, ghosts of the streets that exist no more. Yesterday and today merged into the everlasting now, and tomorrow becomes a blurred phantasm between is and not.

We believe that we will rebuild the cities, but we do not know how long it will take for the emotional burns to recover. The feeling of the future returns only with a hope that all the wastelands will revive, and the gaps will be filled in the end. Yet what we will fill those gaps with depends only on us, will it be a yearning for like it was, or a joy of like never before.

about the authors:

Volt Agapeyev

Interdisciplinary artist born in 1989 in Ternopil.

In 2012, Volt graduated from Ternopil National Pedagogic University. Had his second education at the New Art School on ‘Media art for practitioners’ course in 2013, later finishing ‘Graphic design: mastership’ program in SVC in 2016. Volt has had numerous collective and personal exhibitions both in Ukraine and abroad. His works are featured in private collections and shown in public venues in Austria, Slovakia, Germany, and other countries. Most frequently, he works with graphics, media art, and graffiti. In his works, the artist examines the amorphization of the borders among human consciousness, technics, and nature. Volt lives and works in Kyiv.

Dima Tolkachov

Born in 1989 in Mala Vyska, Kirovohrad oblast, Dima studied in Kyiv National Linguistic University and the School of Visual Communication. He works with photogpraphy, using it as materials for conceptual projects, sometimes also experimenting with objects and digital collages.

After February 24, Dima focused on studies the way the consequences of war affect the perception of reality, and deconstructing of the images of war in digital media. The artist has participated in a number of collective exhibitions in Ukraine, Poland, Germany, USA. His works were published in such magazines as 5.6, EEP Berlin, HOPE, The Information Front, Solomiya. Dima lives and works in Kyiv.