Galerija Gregor Podnar is pleased to announce Yuri Leiderman’s third solo exhibition.
Often drawing inspiration from national identities themes, Leiderman's works seek to transform those issues into abstractions, thereby testing their elasticity while foregrounding their unexplainable character, and thus restoring to them some measure of irreducible, if ironic dignity. This is carried out in the current exhibition through a series of new drawings, paintings and a recent film. Consisting primarily of portraits, the largely graphic and expressive paintings in this exhibition blend figuration with a kind of oneiric abstraction, formally and thematically operating according to the principles of "Geopoetics" (Y.L.). This is perhaps best exemplified by an unusual portrait of Saddam Hussein entitled Saddam Hussein on the Wind (2013). Here Leiderman has taken a well-circulated image of the shocked and disillusioned late dictator and transformed it, in such a way that he becomes disembodied and phantasmal, and undergoes an ambiguous pictorial redemption.
The film Birmingham Ornament (2007 - ), made in collaboration with film-maker Andrey Silvestrov, comprises a series of fragments, which weave together documentary fact with fantastical fiction whose nature become more and more outrageous as the film progresses. Alternating between different passages like a charismatic folk singer from Odessa or finish choir singing Leiderman's poetry for instance, the side-splittingly funny film merits multiple viewings.
Along with the rest of the work in this show, it offers a crucial opportunity to grasp and appreciate the simultaneously deflating and redemptive logic of Leiderman’s singular oeuvres.