Dying Warriors / Ruin and reproduction
Erik Mai / Serhiy Savchenko
“War destroys and wipes out any kind of individuality. Savchenko’s paintings are about the city’s recognizable landscape that is transformed into a monotony of ruins that has no personality anymore. This is symbolic and inherent in today’s world: demolishing and equalizing personality as such.Erik Mai, by creating his dying warriors out of stone, gives individuality to every single stone.“
From a conversation with the artist Olena Turyanska
To make myself aware of the duration of the First World War (1914-1918), I worked on 22 stone heads from 2014-2018. The number 22 is chosen after Andreas Schlüter, a German sculptor (1660-1714), whose 22 Dying Warriors can be found in the Berlin Zeughaus Unter den Linden.From some of my works, I moulded masks and had them cast in bronze and iron. While I was working and thinking about the war and how it happened, many military conflicts took place in the world and in Europe.Schlüter’s portrayals are also about heroism. I can’t do anything with that term.Erik Mai 2019
Ruin and reproduction.
Ruin is a term with several meanings. Every government or country writes a story in its own way, so the story should not be understood but felt.A series of works that is based on original photographs of destroyed cities after World War II: Dresden, Coventry, Warsaw, Kiev, Hiroshima and Gdansk. 6 works, 6 cities, 6 stories, 6 ruins.
Destroyed cities created with oil and water-based paints, so conflicts between these two opposing substances cannot be avoided. The endless conflict of oil and water in the physical world should perhaps be the main key to reading this series. A conflict that sooner or later is doomed to historical fixation and reconciliation.Probably, the photos were taken from a high-flying airplane; it is always at altitude that the horizon line relative to the landscape is the same.
All the works are diptychs, and there is the impression as if the eerie landscape is contemplated from the window of a tall, mythical building.
An emotional, sensitive look at the dramatically set design of history by viewing the annihilated centres of civilization. A picture of the world that makes it possible to bring up to date the vision of a story that needs to be felt, not just understood.
Exhibition held in the “Savchenko Gallery” Gdanzk