Sergey Bratkov represents the Kharkiv School of Photography as one of many talented graduates, among which we can name Vladimir Starko, Igor Chekachkov or Boris Redko. KSP was unofficially established in the 70s, when Soviet Union tirelessly censored work of many artists and was constantly on the hunt for ‘improper content’. Students of KSP had to get their education in public spaces instead of school and they attended classes in places such as coffee shops and various clubs. The experience enabled them and their work to break free from Soviet propaganda, which is why now we can follow history through Ukrainian artists’ eyes and their photographs with certainty that it hasn’t been influenced by the authorities in any way.
Sergey Bratkov’s works speak on various matters, often forgotten and overlooked in modern world, such as illiteracy or the progression of capitalism and how it brainwashes the consument. His art is full of irony, grotesque and confusion. He often plays with the viewer by giving questionable titles to his photographs, which may be perceived as a little help with the interpretation at first, only to later confuse the spectator even more.
Bratkov took part in many Biennale as a Ukrainian representative, his artworks were also appreciated by various European museums, which now display his art. He’s also involved in creating videos, installations, paintings and in performance.
Written by Julia Siechowicz