'Mykola Ridnyi: The Battle Over Mazepa', a new moving image work by acclaimed Ukrainian artist

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, April 18, 2024

'Mykola Ridnyi: The Battle Over Mazepa', a new moving image work by acclaimed Ukrainian artist
Mykola Ridnyi, The Battle Over Mazepa, film still, 2023. Courtesy the artist.

SOUTHAMPTON.- John Hansard Gallery, part of the University of Southampton, in partnership with Pushkin House, is delighted to present a new moving image work by acclaimed Ukrainian artist and filmmaker Mykola Ridnyi.

The Battle Over Mazepa conceptualises the historical significance and contemporary perception of Ivan Mazepa, a political and military leader of the Zaporizhian Sich and Left- bank Ukraine in the late-17th and early-18th century. Addressing codes of hip-hop culture, Ridnyi borrows the popular form of a rap battle to collide two great works of world literature associated with this historical figure: Mazeppa by Lord Byron in 1819 and Poltava by Alexander Pushkin in 1828–29. While Byron envisions Mazepa as a romantic hero, seized by love, Pushkin portrays him as a traitor in accordance with the colonial attitude of the Russian Empire. Highlighting the confrontation of these two texts, Ridnyi invited four rappers from different national and cultural backgrounds to write and perform their response to the poets’ lyrics.

Mykola Ridnyi: “When we are thinking of contemporary genres of poetic expression, which are full of tension and political messages, as well as passions, desires and lust, various forms of hip-hop culture come to mind. Personal attitude and artistic reactions towards each other are very characteristic for rap artists. Why not look at Byron and Pushkin's contradictions through a lens of present-time music and explore them by means of rap battle and diss tracks, which seem not so far from the competition between poets of the 19th century?”

Byron's romanticised heroic image of Mazepa quickly gained recognition and inspired a number of works in various art forms including Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix paintings, Victor Hugo’s collection of poems, Henry M. Milner’s hippodrama, and many others. While in Ukraine Mazepa is seen as a crucial figure in Ukraine’s fight for independence from Russia, Russian historiography mostly characterises him as a defector who abandoned his allegiance to the Russian Empire, switching sides during the Great Northern War against the Kingdom of Sweden. It was on the wave of Mazepa’s popularity during the Romantic period that Pushkin, a great admirer of Byron, wrote a poem-response presenting Mazepa as an antihero.

As part of his work on the film, Mykola Ridnyi invited Susanne Strätling, Professor of Comparative Literature at the Freie Universität Berlin, to work with four rap performers to dissect the idealised and imperialist Mazepa narratives of the two poems and to write a modern interpretation of it. Performers Elie, Moh, Caxxianne and Exo represent different styles of hip-hop culture and spoken word performance. The resulting verses blend historic themes with current sentiments, revealing the urgency of events that took place centuries ago and their resonance in the contemporary global world.

The project is realised with support from the Senate Department for Culture and Europe (Ad- hoc Fellowship) in collaboration with the Berlin Artistic Research Programme.

Pushkin House is an independent cultural centre established in London in 1954 during the Cold War by a group of scholars with Russian roots. As a venue offering a varied programme of events, exhibitions and community initiatives, we are a platform for initiating active enquiry, debate and exchange across cultures.

John Hansard Gallery

John Hansard Gallery is a locally engaged and internationally recognised contemporary art gallery in Southampton. Being part of the University of Southampton, the Gallery aims to create extraordinary encounters with the rich diversity of contemporary art that inspire people and communities to change the world for the better. To realise this, the Gallery creates innovative and critically acclaimed contemporary art exhibitions, events, engagement and research projects that excite, challenge, represent and reach the widest possible public audience. Learning and engagement are at the heart of the Gallery and underpin all its activities. The innovative education and public programme is accompanied by special community-focused projects, including activities for all ages and levels of experience. John Hansard Gallery was established in 1979 and is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England.

John Hansard Gallery
'Mykola Ridnyi: The Battle Over Mazepa'
28 October 2023 – 13 January 2024

Today's News

November 22, 2023

A rare appearance for 'Six Persimmons,' a 13th-century masterpiece

The National Gallery of Art acquires an important painting by Anne Vallayer-Coster

Hindman gives the baseball season a curtain call with the auction of an incredible collection of signed baseballs

Larry Zox has third solo exhibition at Berry Campbell comprised of works on paper from 1963 to 1969

Hake's season finale hits $2.4M, with elusive collectibles setting record prices at their auction debuts

Over 235 trains and accessories go up for bid on Sunday, December 3

Brooklyn Museum expands its collections with more than 300 acquisitions

CUE Art Foundation now showing solo exhibition by Ling-lin Ku

Never-before-seen artwork by artist Natalie Ball at the Whitney

BMA debuts Raúl de Nieves: and 'imagine you are here' Meyerhoff-Becker Biennial Commission

Fancy intense orangy-pink diamond leads Moran's Fine Jewelry and Watches sale

PAI's $1.6M sale is led by seldom-seen lithographs; Rare Posters Auction XCI on November 12

Fine porcelain and Hermés bag lead the November gallery auction

Colorful and semi-fictional fabrications of interior spaces depicted in Erin Holly's new exhibition at JD Malat

'Mykola Ridnyi: The Battle Over Mazepa', a new moving image work by acclaimed Ukrainian artist

Monumental sculptures by Arthur Carter on view at the Wadsworth Atheneum

A multisensory show of wide-spectrum photography, music, light, flora, and fauna examines the Amazon rainforest

'Gardens of Anuncia' review: The Broadway star and the women who molded her

Roberts Projects announces representation of Mia Middleton

Herbert Gold, postwar novelist of love and marriage, dies at 99

Debussy and Final Fantasy are peers on this radio stream

It seemed to have it all: 9 dancers, 5 guitars, 5 amps

'Hell's Kitchen' review: How Alicia Keys got her groove

South London Gallery exhibits Pope.L's wide ranging practice

SJ Auctioneers' online-only silverware, toys, decor & glass auction

Back Pain Be Gone: Integrating These Tips into Daily Life

The Role of AI in Personalizing Your Streaming Experience

Discover the Best of 광주오피 - A Detailed Guide

The Gambler's Guide: Responsible Gaming in the Online Slot World

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful