04 Firenze Olga Pavlenko

Olga Pavlenko's work is based on an intellectual considereation spawned by a reflection on the theme of identity and memory, as seen through the eyes of an artist who has been constantly moving from one country to another for many years. Her entire artistic output, whether it be video-art, sound installations or performances, is designed to prompt her audience to acquire awareness in an attempt to breathe life into pure experience, divorced from any material purpose or duration, through an event, a debate or a sound. The analysis of cultural diversity, the critical interpretation of traditional values and the perception of time are themes that constantly reappear in her work, varying in accordance with the artistic medium she adopts. The attrition between her native culture (she is from Ukraine) and the culture of her adopted home in Italy, two distant and at times irreconcilable ways of sensing and of judging, is palpably present in her work. But Pavlenko's origin is by no means the principal focus of her research; rather, it gives her a sense of detachment that allows her to observe her surroundings from a distance, like a kind of tool with which to measure empty spaces and verify the way in which things can belong to different cultural realities. This oscillating viewpoint, which is such a characteristic feature of her work, is to be found also in her Le Storie, a project in which she gave immigrant families cameras and asked them to photograph the family as it performed its domestic chores. This operation allowed her to cast a neutral gaze on her subject matter, without letting it be influenced by any kind of stereotypical distortion.Her need to engage in debate and dialogue on art has prompted her to share her studio with other artists, setting up a group called .LAB, which consists of ten artists of different nationality working in a synergetic fashion, creating events in which they trigger processes capable of involving the audience: different viewpoints that join together in the collective vision of an art that cannot be separated from life.

Olga Pavlenko was born in Kherson, Ukraine, in 1982. She attended painting and applied art classes at art school in her home town. After graduating in law at Kiev, she moved to Florence, where she continued to pursue her artistic studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti under Vincenzo Canale. In February 2009, she and nine other artists formed a collective called .LAB, a workshop of experimentation and debate on issues connected with contemporary art and culture. Her most recent exhibitions include: Niente da vedere tutto da vivere, curated by Lorenzo Bruni, parallel event to the 14th Carrara International Sculpture Biennale, Istituto del Marmo Pietro Tacca, Carrara, 2010; International Student Triennial of Istanbul 2010, Istanbul, 2010; Lo spazio di via nuova dialoga con loro da quasi due anni e quattro mesi, Via Nuova arte contemporanea, Florence, 2010; Storie dai Margini, curated by Pietro Gagliano, Teatro Studio, Scandicci (Florence), 2010; and Crolli, curated by Portage, Officina Giovanni, Prato, 2009.



Address: Via De' Pilastri, 41

We will be meeting with the artist at Florence's main Santa Maria Novella train station–platform 16.