Voices in Kyiv

Catherine Gfeller

  • Photographs : Catherine Gfeller
  • Texts : Andrei Kurkov, Marie-Ève Celio
  • 68 pages
  • 16,5 x 22,5 cm
  • 65 color pictures
  • Soft cover with dust jacket
  • languages: Ukrainian / English / French
  • To be released on : october 2018
  • €25

Following her stay in Kyiv in May 2017, the Swiss artist, Catherine Gfeller, offers a creative interpretation of the city, where she engages, visually and acoustically, in a dialogue with people she met there- writers, journalists, architects.


“The Voice is Freedom” – the protesters chanted in 2014 on Maidan. The voice is life. Life is movement, and
it is this movement, these voices that Catherine is trying to present through different media: photographs, videos, audio recordings. Apart from life, the voice is also poetry and politics. It has a strong symbolic power. During the tragic events of 2014, Ukrainian poets were reciting and speaking. Words against bullets. Words which can be still heard and which Catherine revives in her installation. “The past does not want to pass” the inhabitants of Kyiv say. Echo, juxtaposition.


In her photographs, Catherine Gfeller blurs time, the images overlap, giving an impression of movement. Movements, motion, Maidan… Four years have passed. The city has re- gained its liberty, driven by the means
of transport captured by the artist in
her compositions and passing by the viewer: “Bus Landscape”, “Metro People Landscape”, “Women Tram”, “Woman Car”. The city is filled with lives. People walk, get together, rejoice, worry, wander to Maidan, walk around the University, near the cathedrals and churches of St. Sophia, St. Michael, St. Andrew and St. Cyril; they head to the new port district, along the river, walk across the bridges which connect the eastern
and the western parts of Kyiv – these are locations the artist let us discover in her photographs. She draws the audience into the image, to cross the border of reality, as if the past events could not be real because of their impossible in-humanity; she invites the viewer to glide through time, from the present to the past, from war to peace.


This crossing is not always smooth. There are also collisions. The colours are crying out: strident green, acid yellow as in “Flowing Free” and “Free Orientation”. The memories are rarely tender. Memory injures and hurts. And in this city of parks and trees the artist suggests the viewer perceives these green spaces as places of refuge during the massacres, asylum, but also as places of hope, with nature recalling the supreme power of the cycle of life.


The artist presents herself as a foreign observer who invites us to see and hear a symbolical dialogue, which performs a double function: to know and to make others know.
Dr. Marie-Ève Celio, Art Historian, Washington.


Catherine Gfeller est une artiste suisse, basée à Paris et dans le sud de la France, Catherine Gfeller expose un peu partout dans le monde depuis 1988.