Victoria Pidust creates digital images between riddle and reality. She photographs her urban and private environment and then processes the photos in the computer: she divides, deforms, and whirls them into confusion and assembles the fragments into new, both beautiful and disturbing images.
It all began with photography: The young Ukrainian artist had been taking photographs since her teenage years – until one day she felt that the photos contained too much reality. She decided to switch to painting. But in the long run she did not like working in the studio, she needed more reality from everyday life. So after two years she returned to photography, but now under new conditions.
Victoria Pidust belongs to a generation of artists who grew up with the computers. The use of the machine, the Internet and Photoshop and the technical possibilities offered by a wide range of programs are as natural to her as the use of pencil and paper was to earlier artists. Computer technology has not replaced the traditional techniques, but has decisively expanded them. With this experience of photography, painting and computer technology her true work begins.
When the artist moved to Berlin at the age of 22, her life changed fundamentally. In comparison with post-socialist Ukraine, everything in the capitalist West seems as if it had been polished up. The migrant feels a sense of alienation, of inadequacy, of inferiority, experiences fear and confusion. But the feeling of alienation goes deeper: she experiences the new environment as a mere surface that creates false ideas and conceals the actual situation. The deep spaces of the pictures, emphatically empty, seem like the pronounced contrast to the sensation of surface.
the logic of the machine
The analog photos that Victoria Pidust brings with her from her explorations in the urban and private environment are divided, swirled, deformed, and reassembled in an elaborate process on the computer. The artist is fascinated by algorithms and the logic of the machine. She makes use of a computer program that architects, for example, use to present their designs in lifelike, three-dimensional renderings. With this program, Victoria takes the deformed fragments of her photos and builds bizarre models that stand and move like “real” in virtual space. Finally she captures these objects with their fluid movements in two-dimensional images.
This video shows the artist’s edited images moving as 3-d objects in space
In this process, she deliberately incorporates errors to achieve unexpected results: She does not give the program the information it needs. For example, if it asks for 24 photos, she only provides four. The computer introduces its own “considerations” into the error, the device assumes the role of the artist and creates its own images – which the artist is only too happy to be surprised by.
The unambiguous photographic image thus becomes, also influenced by chance, a hybrid composite image: all details seem clear and familiar, even hyper-real, but are completely distorted. This process, she explains, corresponds to the fact that we do not have enough information to understand the world properly, to look behind the surface.
It is the instability of this process that interests the artist, be it the fluid movements of the rotating 3D models or the transitions between different realities. Everything flows into each other – just as memory images of past places and events blend with the present. The question can be generalized: Which images, which reality can we still trust today? Nearly every message we receive is “processed”. What is “truth” when the president of a world power describes facts as fake news and postulates his own “deformed” world view as the only real one? Victoria Pidust takes it to the extreme: obviously everything here has been edited – but is it therefore “fake”?
Even with these cool, technological works Victoria Pidust considers herself a painter. Indeed, the pictures seem very painterly, and fragments of paintings also appear in them. Among the artists whom she names as kindred spirits, there are photographers, to be sure, Thomas Ruff, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Gursky and Martin Paar, also Wolfgang Tillmans, whose experimental, abstract works have a distinctly painterly quality. Others, however, are true painters: Helen Frankenthaler, Katharina Grosse and Peter Doig.
In the pictures’ “expressive” forms, one could even see a proximity to American Action Painting. The multi-perspectivity and the real-unrealism of the works are reminiscent of Cubism and Surrealism. One could also name Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” in which technology creates its own reality and past, present, and future come together in a cool space that is as real as it is surreal.
The artist has the last word: her works, she says, „are about destroying and creation, about simple and difficult things, about the time and absence of it. They are some instability effects of my life.“
TECHNICAL NOTE: The works are each available in three formats: large ( ca. 200 x 135 cm), medium (ca. 120 x 83 cm) and small (ca. 30 x 45 cm). Also, the prints can be framed or mounted on alu-dibond. Please let us know which version you prefer, we will be happy to discuss this with you: Email: email@example.com, or phone 49-30-86424676, 017643843263. Please contact us.
For more information we recommend the website of Victoria Pidust, it is full of information and surprises. In this gallery, you might also view the sites of artists working in a similar way: Joanna Buchowska, Jessica Buhlmann, DAG and Forster Herchenbach. And please visit our exhibition with two of her works: Just Photographs.
Victoria Pidust was born 1992 in Nikopol, Ukraine. She lives and works in Berlin. 2010-2015 she studied Publishing and Printing at the Multimedia Department of NTUU “KPI”, Kyiv. At the Kunsthochschule Weissensee in Berlin she studied 2015-2017 at the Visual Communication Department and 2017-2020 at the Painting Department.
|2015-2017||DAAD Scholarship for studying at Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, Germany|
|2017||Third National photo prize of Ukraine “Photographer of the year 2016”|
3rd place in the category “Art photography”
2nd place in the category “Still Life”
|2016||50 contemporary photographers from East Europe», Dostoevsky List 2016, Netherlands|
|2015||Second National photo prize of Ukraine, Photographer of the year 2014|
2nd place in the category Computergraphics
3rd place in the category Landscape (Flora)
|2019||«STRG alt», Bar K Berlin Gallery, Berlin, Germany|
Rundgang show, Weissensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, Germany
«*», group exhibition, Projektraum Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
“Painting Painting Painting”, group exhibition, Vollreinigung Raum, Berlin, Germany
|2018||“Material”, group exhibition, SabotMimiFaster gallery, Berlin, Germany|
“SPOT-T – project / 2nd edition”, group exhibition, Venco Gallery, Berlin
|2017||“EPISODE”, group exhibition, Museum Kesselhaus, Berlin|
”Drag & Drop”, group exhibition, curated by Victoria Pidust and Volo Bevza, Kunsthalle am Hamburger Platz, Berlin
“H2”, group exhibition, SEZ, Berlin
|2015||“Reanimation”, group exhibition, Contemporary Arts Center “M17”, Kyiv, Ukraine|
|2014||Project “Zsuvy” with Volo Bevza, visual program in international festival “GogolFest”, Kyiv, Ukraine|
|2013||“My zverhu”, gallery “Lavra”, Kyiv, Ukraine|
“Photographer of the year 2012,” M17 Centre of Contemporary Art, Kyiv, Ukraine