Dymchuk Gallery presents an art project by the Kyiv art group STO (Ukrainian abbreviation for maintenance service), which will turn the exhibition space of the gallery into the office of artists.
STO group sees itself as a conceptual bureau, which explores the hierarchy of the artistic environment and the place of the young artist in it. The main theme of their work is precariousness of the artist – an uncertain condition without social guarantees and reliable earnings.
A successful career is usually associated with a stable, well-payed job in the office. Meanwhile, after graduation from the art college the artist has almost no chance of official employment. To ensure a decent life, he/ she has to master the related profession, to constantly apply for grants, contests, residencies, exhibition projects – and to wait for their results. It is this activity, not creativity, that starts to occupy most of the time of the artist.
In the project Order from STO! the artists reconsider this situation ironically. The Best Order for STO work is a contest in which anyone can request a creative project for the group. The artists in this case place themselves in the jury and select the most advantageous option. In addition, the bureau announces an open call for a post in STO. All candidates for a place must fill out an application and go through an interview in the exhibition space.
In everyday life, such a distinct bureaucratic process is a certain milestone through which a graduate comes into “adult life”. Meanwhile, for STO it is rather a ritual which reveals a lopsided system unable to take into account the features of different professions.
The office space in the gallery is illusory, it is indicated by a schematic markup on the floor. Artists remove all layers of office utensils to reveal the real functions of the working space: organization of work and hierarchical division. The “creative achievements” of STO are presented in the form of PR products.
In general, the main element of this performance project is the expectation of the best order, which may not appear at all. In the opinion of the STO, the vulnerability of the condition of the artist is determined by the constant expectations: a new order, proposal, answer to another application. And this is a feature the artists have in common with a whole social class of people who do not fit into the outdated labor system.
Participants: Anna Samar, Alyona Mamay, Sasha Roshen, Bogdan Moroz, Anastasiya Putilovska, Lisa Smirnova.