Sergiy Petlyuk / / Сергій Петлюк

Stand by


(stone, rubberized fabric), dimensions variable

Oxford Dictionary definition of “stand by” phrasal verb:
1) To be present when something bad happens, but not to do anything to stop it.
2) To support or remain loyal to (someone), usually in a time of need.
3) To be ready (on hand) to deal with or help with something.

A giant slingshot with a block of stone at its base is pointed at the viewer, evoking a sense of physical discomfort, tension and anxiety. The black colour of the fabric from which it is made reflects an indescribable sorrow, a stone is a burden that cannot be lifted, and the tension of the fabric is a state from which it is impossible to escape. This is precisely the state in which Ukrainians find themselves as a result of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. However, this installation was created long before these events. It was first exhibited shortly after the bloody shooting of protesters on Kyiv's Maidan Square during the last Ukrainian revolution(2013-14), being a response to the country's long-standing political crisis, the collapse of trust in authority and the desire for change. Despair, an inner emptiness, but at the same time a vague faith, triggered by the then almost imperceptible transformation of civil society.