Oleksiy Sai has long been speaking about the war waged by Russia against Ukraine and actively raising awareness about it abroad. In 2014, Sai started the Bombed series, depicting the damaged Ukrainian landscape as visible in satellite images from the combat zones.From August 17 to October 8, 2023, these works are in Sai’s solo show Exhibition at the Voloshyn Gallery in Kyiv. On this occasion, Ivan Skoryna interviewed Sai for Artslooker. They talked about volunteering, photo documentation of Russian war crimes, suffering as a driving force of the creative process, and the difference between Soviet and modern propaganda.
On the morning of February 24th, it became clear that there would be no opening. But Lesya Khomenko called me and decided to come with sleeping mats [Voloshyn Gallery is in the basement, so technically it's one of the municipal shelters during the air raid – ed.]. Yasia Khomenko and Max Robotov accompanied her, then my wife and I joined (as we live in the city center), and later, Mykyta Kadan came to the gallery. We had a company, but you can't call what was happening “an opening". Everyone, of course, was surprised by this psychedelic coincidence: we could hear the booming sound of the first explosions in Kyiv at the presentation of the series about bombardments.
Exhibition project was supposed to open at the Voloshyn Gallery on February 24, 2022. Due to the full-scale invasion, the opening only took place for close friends. Do you remember how it happened?