Nikolay Onishcenko

The Pass
17.05.2018 – 03.06.2018, Triumph Gallery

The Pass, an exhibition of new works by Nikolay Onishchenko, is inspired by the story of the Dyatlov Pass. The pass is named after the tragedy of February 1959 that happened in its vicinity, where a trekking group led by Igor Dyatlov died under mysterious circumstances. The official inquiry concluded that “the cause of death was an elemental force of nature, that the tourists could not overcome.”

In The Pass, Onishhenko addresses the theme of “mystery” through strange natural (in particular, atmospheric) events and offers the viewer a glimpse beyond the realm of “reality.” “Pass” also symbolizes a transition from the logical and rational world into the irrational and emotional realm. “Almost each ancient writing mentions unexplained natural phenomena. As the humanity progressed, it added to its knowledge of the environment, but it is still not enough to explain and understand certain things,” the artist says.

The exhibition at Triumph displays a series of works styled as tondos that refer back to the cosmogonies of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Elements of reality interchange with different optical phenomena: bright cloud and smoke mirages, beams and flashes of light, lights in the sky. There is mysticism even in the series of panoramic diptychs depicting mountain landscapes that first appear realistic and true but are actually compilations of non-existing images.