Double Exposure I: Community


Ongoing Contribution SONIAKH digest presents three curated selections from Inga Levi’s drawing series Double Exposure. The project began on February 27th, 2022, and, via Instagram, it became a public archive of the artist’s personal war experience. Levi's handwritten captions have been translated and annotated for context.

Inga Levi’s embeddedness within the Ukrainian art scene remains a key feature of her experience. In this first installment of Levi’s ongoing contribution, works depicting the lives of members of the Ukrainian art community are superimposed with the events from the battlefield. Animator Kate Voznytsia weaves mesh camouflage netting atop explosions at the Enerhodar Nuclear Power Plant. Polina Verbytska’s children sketch trains over news of missile attacks. The image of artist Daniil Nemirovsky, missing for 12 days in the siege of Mariupol, emerges from Lithuanian waters. The artist himself would soon reemerge from the occupied region, escaping from Mariupol on foot in the coming weeks. Photographers Olesia Saienko and Olia Koval inhabit the geometry of a shelled area. Vova Polegin composes music before the image of Azovstal, and later dines with Volodymyr Melnychenko by the light of the flaming Cruiser Moskva. Poet and literature researcher Andrii Pidpalyi’s image merges with that of a woman evacuated from a residential bombardment, while the map of eastern Ukraine hovers over culture manager Inga Zaslavska as she works packing hemostatic dressings.

Community, its power and resilience, has been a central feature of the successful defense of Ukraine. In response to the invasion, people from all walks of life have immediately activated in various capacities, joining humanitarian and military aid efforts, even as they themselves manage the difficult circumstances of displacement, siege, and bombardment. Ukraine’s close-knit artistic community is no exception, with artists participating at all levels of defense, from joining the regular military or territorial defense forces, to organizing soup kitchens for internally displaced people. Inga Levi’s personal associations and friendships show a cross section of this remarkable community, the integrity of which, even when faced with crisis, has never been in crisis itself. 

Published 24 October 2022
Inga Levi is an artist born and based in Kyiv, Ukraine. She graduated from Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in 2011, where she studied Book Illustration. Levi works with drawing, painting, and installation. In the 2000s, her practice started engaging with urban space, architecture, and monumental art. In 2018-2021, Levi curated restoration works of Soviet monumental mosaics from the 1960s in Kyiv.