Ukranian-born artist featured at Wolfson releases personal statement

Published on
Wednesday 23 March 2022
Art & Humanities

Ukranian-born artist Sergey Katran, the creative behind Wolfson's Until The Word Is Gone exhibition, has released a statement following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

With personal ties to both Ukraine and Russia, Sergey Katran's statement reads as follows:

Right at the moment, I find it extremely challenging to express the whole range of contradictory feelings I experience in relation to the situation in Ukraine. This is the country where I was born. There, in the city of Nikopol (in Zaporizhzhia), on the picturesque banks of the Dnieper, 我度过了我的童年和青年时代, my school years. Thereafter I moved to the nearby major industrial city of Krivyy Rih (or Krivoy Rog in Russian) where I studied chemistry and biology at the local university. My alma mater in Krivyy Rih stands next to Kvartal 95 (or Quarter 95) – the neighbourhood that became the inspiration for Kvartal 95 Studio founded in 2003 by young Volodymyr Zelensky, the future president of Ukraine and a national hero.

 In 1991, the USSR finally collapsed, and a terrible crisis ensued, affecting all areas of life. Fate brought me to Moscow, which meant that I had the opportunity to support my family in Ukraine.  This is how my life in Russia began. My first son was born in Ukraine, while my second son and daughter were born in Moscow (Russia). These two countries are both dear to me. The tragedy unleashed by President Vladimir Putin and the ruling elite of Russia I perceive as my personal tragedy that brought great suffering to our whole family. I believe that Russia's direct aggression against Ukraine is a crime. I feel bitter about what is currently going on. My mind still refuses to register that such a thing may happen; it all seems impossible, absurd, unreal, and yet the situation unfolds right in front of our terrified eyes.  

I am an artist and my major task is to establish connections, to create a dialogue between people, who can at times be radically different from each other. The project UNTIL THE WORD IS GONE celebrates the immense cultural diversity of the world, in all its fullness and magnificence.  On the contrary, the war divides, tears apart, cripples, annihilates, derides and distorts whatever remains precious in human nature and culture. I am sure that the Ukrainian people will stand strong in this fight. I believe that sane anti-war forces all over the world will prevail. I am certain that the anti-war sentiment will steadily grow in Russia. I hope that Ukraine will end up a free, happy, prosperous, and independent country.


About the exhibition

The experimental outdoor installation created by Katran and curated by Irene Kukota features twenty-six terracotta sculptures created between 2016 -2021. The sculptures embody sound waves of the word “art,” uttered in dead, endangered and living languages The installation is an in-depth cross-disciplinary project at the intersection of linguistics, art, ethnography and anthropology. It's an exploration of the nature of human language and origins of human civilisation.