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An artist take by Sergei Sviatchenko for Magasin du Nord, Copenhagen

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10 April 2018
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As part of Magasin du Nord's 150th anniversary celebration, the largest national chain of department stores invited the Ukrainian-born Danish artist Sergei Sviatchenko, one of the most influential and provocative innovators in contemporary collage worldwide, to create art windows based on archival photographic materials from the Magasin du Nord Museum.

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Sergei Sviatchenko is an artist of global renown, widely exhibited at solo and group shows in Denmark and many European countries, as well as in the US and Canada. Sviatchenko holds a degree in architecture and fine arts from the Kharkiv Institute of Engineering and Construction (Ukraine), and defended his PhD thesis in architecture at the Kyiv Institute of Engineering and Construction. He was a pivotal figure in the Ukrainian art scene of the 1980s, organizing and curating the first Ukrainian-Danish shows of contemporary art. Having moved to Denmark in 1990, he lives and works in Viborg. In 2017, Sviatchenko came to Ukraine for the first time in almost thirty years and joined the Jury of one of the most powerful youth art events of the country – Open Student Contest in Painting "Silver Easel".

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In 2002-2009, he served as the curator of the international project of the Senko Studio communication space, inviting young artists that represented different trends in art and different countries across the globe. The Senko Studio project combined a gallery space with a collective art studio. Subsequently Sviatchenko created the Close Up and Private Internet project, founded on the principles of new photography and offering a contemporary perspective on style, fashion and classical details in clothing. The project created a stir and drew attention of established fashion houses and fashion magazines.

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The choice to invite Sviatchenko to reimagine the footage from the Magasin du Nord photo archive is far from random. Sviatchenko is one of the most prominent figures in the world of contemporary art collage. In his LESS collage series, Sviatchenko developed unique expressive imagery that transcended conventional boundaries and bridged the gap between pop culture, politics, personal memory, collective history, scientific ideas and fantastical oneiric imagery. Collages of the LESS series are typically comprised of just a couple of elements on a vibrant monochrome background, which makes the composition even more dramatic.

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Sviatchenko reimagines the Magasin du Nord photo archive as a classical LESS collage that encourages the viewers to look back to the past with a 3D effect, reviving historic footage through contemporary imagery. As a true successor to constructivists and avant-garde artists of the 1920s, Sviatchenko continues to explore the themes of blurring the line between genres and destroying the boundaries between sophisticated cultivated forms and democratic contents in art in these works too. Sviatchenko believes that art has to be incorporated into real life, appearing as both down-to-earth and cosmic, engaged and creative. The artist take on the Magasin du Nord photographic archival footage gave Sviatchenko yet another opportunity to realize his creative ideas as collages.

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The opening will include a meet-and-greet with the artist, a signing (an exclusive art poster of your choice from a collection of 5), and a champagne reception.
The exhibition will last until 30 April 2018 inclusive.

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The text is provided by the press service of Sergei Sviatchenko
Photo: Oleg Oparanyuk and also provided by Sergei Sviatchenko.

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An artist take by Sergei Sviatchenko for Magasin du Nord, Copenhagen

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