Mischievous Mythologies

Guest contribution from Olga Krykun, artist.

The art world might seem like a complicated and serious environment, but the message I want to send is that anyone can be an artist! Let's make it more playful and less privileged. I try to create art that is fun for both parties: myself and the audience. I want my work to spark conversations and branches of communication - between myself and the audience and others.

When I started my work, I focused on the contemporary globalized world and its outcomes. But then, around 2017, the sense of being a global person morphed into a more concrete position of being global, but with a deeper understanding of my roots and reasons that have shaped my personality.

Although the art world is trying to create values based on equality and solidarity, it is still very competitive. Patriarchal models still exist in one way or another. My current goal is to find a place in the art industry while keeping my practice independent and moral. Since I graduated in the period after the cultural crisis in the Czech Republic, we had to rethink and reinvent our working strategies. Currently, for example, I am working with a women's collective to create a new Eastern European platform focused on young women artists who are in a similar situation as we are. I believe in the positive changes the moment we start acting as equals in practice. I or my female colleagues are still very vulnerable in the art world. We are still sometimes not taken seriously because we might start a family and give up art. Also, there are still some inconsiderate behaviors or it just takes longer for us to reach the same career points as our male colleagues. We want to change this by setting a positive example and simply doing our jobs well.

For me, being a woman still has something to do with struggling. I'm dealing with the issues of 4th wave feminism, and I feel like they play a role in the art world as well. For example, wage inequality is reflected in the prices that women artists make. Or some people still see a woman as less of a "great artist" than a man. But I'm optimistic about it; a lot has changed in the last ten years, too.

Olga Krykun works primarily in the media of video installation, sculpture, and painting. Combining elements of storytelling with contemporary symbols, she creates the mischievous mythology of today. Her practice is heavily based on intuition, emotion, and personal experience, so that her works evoke a kind of trance-like surrealism. She deals with issues such as identity, fragmentation of society, tensions due to personal discrepancies, and anxiety in response. She doubts and searches for better working formulas, either alone or with other artists within the existing art establishment.