The idea of this project was prompted in September 2012 by Artem Polanskyi, curator and longtime admirer of Ievgen Petrov’s oeuvre. The project features the foolishness of the violent war which is shown through the prism of Petrov’s watercolors with his critical assessment of what is happening in his own plots.
The hostilities with the participation of the German soldiers during the Second World War on the territory of Ukraine, as always, were distorted with the fantastical ups and downs, otherworldly forces, the movements over time, or simply absurd situations. A capsule with the cosmonauts falls on a land battleship; in 1941 the soldiers find a picture with the Reichtag’s seizure; distraught soldier and a witch fly at night over the Ukrainian village. Petrov’s stories inadvertently encounter the parallel to the mythical side of Nikolai Gogol’s oeuvre. Here one should also notice some connections to the postmodernist novel, titled «Mythogenic Caste Love» by Sergey Anufriyev and Pavel Pepperstein, where the real war reflects the mythical battles, e.g. Russian «Magic Swan Geese» fight against Luftwaffe, Karlsson-on-the-Roof’s ally.
In the project «Thanks to everyone. Everyone’s free to go» one can find only absurdity, but also fatigue of the characters of the long hostilities. Deep irony of Petrov, based on unmatched technique, once again shows the futility and the infeasibility of the worldwide military conflicts. Poor Germans were clearly not prepared to fight with our «otherworldly». This «otherworldly» can be not only earthbound, but also alien, as in «The Aliens». Using the postmodernism in his plots, but also preserving and even developing the classical technique of watercolors Ievgen Petrov has become quite notable in the international art environment.
Unsurpassed quality of Petrov, as a craftsman, and a leap of imagination, constantly generating new twists and moves in the plots, make his oeuvre unforgettable. Each painting or sculpture juts out as a separate film or tragicomic story. The feeling of at once watched several films with the clear, but yet unexpected plots does not leave the viewer.
Not by chance, the final watercolor of Ievgen is titled «Cut!» hinting that the previous stories constitute a single film-making process.
Our generation was brought up on the films about war; lots of films are processed now and most likely thousands of other films will be shot in future. Ievgen Petrov made his own, ingenious contribution to this process.
P.S. Apart from ten watercolors there are also sculptures in the project which are definitely a successful experiment of the author with the form. His project, titled «Captured Bremen Town Musicians» to some extent is project-related and gives hope that Petrov will prove to be a skillful sculptor.