'You are not beautiful, you are pretty.' Solo exhibition by Svitlana Levchenko

by Maya Hristova

'In my childhood, I often heard you are not beautiful, you are pretty’ says Odessa-born Svitlana Levchenko and continues ‘I grew up with this knowledge and it became an indisputable axiom.’

This project is a therapeutic study, the study of internal context, which was examined on the global map of corporeality, getting rid of complexes, depending on the world of men, searching for inner beauty. As a child, I often heard ‘you are not beautiful, you are pretty,’ I grew up with this knowledge, and it became an indisputable axiom. A true woman is perfect. And ‘perfect’ is wider than just ‘beautiful’. There are objectively perfect things, and their beauty is not in subjective empirical perception, but in their essence, in the purpose of existence. With the help of an associative series, I illustrate the search for the True Woman in myself.

How is this project a continuation of you previous work?

I have always admired the human body. The way how a man/woman uses it, not in a purely physical sense, but as a way to communicate with the world. This is the common theme of my work. ‘YatFTIL’ is the first associative project and that’s the reason why I used a different visual language to create it, but at the same time I was shooting intuitively like always.

How do you see yourself in it?

For me it all starts when I feel something that I can’t explain. The first two months I was photographing without any understanding of what the work will be about. Then it all started to come together, forming a more coherent picture. I realized that something had changed in my life in general. I had reached simultaneously the end and a new beginning.

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