Thierry Clech
Sunset on Ukraine
October 2022 / Snoeck
Thierry Clech

My earliest memory of Ukraine is like a snow globe where a simple shake spreads the tiny sequins into the atmosphere, silver flakes swarming slowly in the confined sky, covering the entire landscape.

I was ten years old. Like all little boys my age, swooning in front of the television set, I followed the Saint-Etienne epic which, at the height of winter 1976, therefore transited through Ukraine. In Kyiv, according to my mistaken memory. Because I realize today that it was in Simferopol, further south, in the lands of Crimea. The sky there was probably identically low and leaden, but there must have been a milder temperature, conducive to the holding of this quarter-final first leg after the snow which covered the ground had been driven away by the reaction blast of aircraft engines brought onto the lawn for the occasion: MiG or old Soviet Army Yak, red stars on their sides.

Ten years later, on April 26, 1986 in the middle of the night, at 1:23 AM, the number four reactor of the Chernobyl power plant released into the starry sky, after an explosion ripped open its dome, radioactive elements in phenomenal quantities (cesium, strontium, plutonium or xenon), first in the surrounding area, then, carried by high winds, all over Europe. It was no longer snowflakes that vibrated in their ball before gently covering the landscape, but invisible becquerels contaminating the sky, clumping together in the clouds then falling back to earth with the April showers, from Cornwall to the Caucasus, from Palermo to Oslo.

Thierry Clech

  • Mara Palena: Oikeiôsis
    Witty Books

    The knowledge of one’s inner self as the sole tool for self-fulfillment, for stoically embracing the human condition in all its turmoils – that is what ancient Greeks used to call Oikeiôsis. The same word was chosen by Mara Palena to call a project that unfolds over the duration of existence. The analog images shot by the artist from her childhood to today do not follow any external precept. (more…)

  • Maria Sturm: You Don’t Look Native to Me

    In 2011, Maria Sturm began to photograph the lives of young people from the Lumbee Tribe around Pembroke, Robeson County, North Carolina. Through the process of documenting their lives, Sturm began to question her own understanding of what it means to be Native American. Her new book You Don’t Look Native to Me combines photographs with interviews and texts to preconceptions and show Native identity not as fixed, but evolving and redefining itself with each generation. (more…)

  • Roni Horn: Give Me Paradox or Give Me Death
    Mar 23 – Aug 11, 2024
    Museum Ludwig
    Köln, Germany

    Mu­se­um Lud­wig is pleased to pre­sent Roni Horn: Give Me Para­dox or Give Me Death, a so­lo ex­hi­bi­tion of works by in­flu­en­tial Amer­i­can artist Roni Horn. The ex­hi­bi­tion in­cludes over 100 works, span­n­ing from the be­gin­n­ing of the artist’s de­cades long ca­reer to pre­sent day. Roni Horn’s work spans from pho­tog­ra­phy to draw­ing, artist books, sculp­ture, and in­s­tal­la­tion. Be­hind this open­ness lies the artist’s un­der­s­tand­ing that ev­ery­thing in the world is mutable (more…)

  • Anish Kapoor: Unseen
    Apr 11 – Oct 20, 2024
    Ishøj, Denmark

    Anish Kapoor’s monumental sculptures and installations speak directly to our senses and emotions. Through his unique eye for materials, shapes, colours and surfaces we are drawn into and seduced by his artwork, which turns the world upside down – often quite literally. Kapoor has been shown in the largest exhibition venues in the world, and he has also created several significant pieces for public spaces. (more…)