During his residency Nazar enriched his series entitled “Paramnesia”.
Paramnesia is a series of still lifes and figure paintings still in progress. It is based on illustrations from the Soviet cookery book (The Book of Tasty and Healthy Food), old toys, TV shows from 90s and 00s and other archival material relating to Soviet and post-Soviet domestic life. Paramnesia is one of the terms for false memory disorder, in which there may be a mixture of past and present, real and fictional events. The artist touches this issue not only in the context of human psychology, but also on the scale of culture, politics and society. How we see the past in the era of post-truth and how the fantastic replaces the real? Is our memory being manipulated? The magnetic woman from the show about abnormal phenomena, the crystal Soviet abundance from grandma’s book, the urban legend of the macaque who hid from the German invaders in a skyscraper, the baby found in a cabbage, etc. Painting, in this case as before in art history, acts as a recorder of the myth.
Another series and inspiration initiated during his residency at Port Tonic Art Center:
Prior to his residency at the Port Tonic Art Center, Nazar STRELYAEV-NAZARKO had distinguished himself with a highly ambitious project that caught the attention of the selection committee:
Watergames is a project of small oil paintings exploring the fate of the central square in artist’s hometown of Kharkiv. Svobody Square was an exemplary Soviet architectural project, with its age-old gigantomania. Surrounded by constructivist and Stalinist architecture, the centrepiece was a monument to Lenin, which was demolished by Kharkiv residents after the events of Euromaidan in 2014. Several years later, the city authorities built a huge dry fountain a few metres away from the destroyed pedestal. People began to use the fountain as a city beach. But the next winter after it opened, war broke out and Russian shells fell on that very square, as if in revenge for Ukrainians’ attempts to rid themselves of a totalitarian past. All these events have come together in a project of seven panels showing children and their parents in swimwear playing with water gushing from the ground against the backdrop of the ruins of the Soviet empire and fallen missiles.