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Portrait of Sergei Sviatchenko
Interview with Sergei Sviatchenko celebrating Senko Studio’s 3 years birthday.

By Hans Henrik Jacobsen art critic at Viborg Stifts Folkeblad.
Photo: Jan Falk Borup

Other articles about Senko Studio’s 3 years birthday:
11-03-05 Senko Studio 3 years
11-03-05 Birthday present to Senko Studio

Link to Senko Studio: www.senko.dk

Sergei Sviatchenko

Hans Henrik: Tell me a little about your personal background?

Sergei: I come from Kharkov, Ukraine. My father was an architect and professor and taught at the architect school in Kharkov. My mother was an engineer. It was a very creative home. I became an architect as well. Later I taught at The Art Academy in Kharkov. I then moved to Kiev where I arranged exhibitions and was curator at The Centre for Modern Art. I arranged exchanges between Ukrainian and Danish artists, and in 1990 I moved to Denmark and started my own career as an artist.

Hans Henrik:
Why did you choose to start your own gallery in 2002?

Sergei: I have always been fascinated by the expression “artist run space”. That the artists arrange exhibitions. There are many previous examples in art history. I have always been interested in communication , and this was a way to communicate with the outside world. In the present surroundings I found an ideal place. The gallery has an enormous glass front, and the exhibitions can be seen from the outside. People can’t miss noticing that here something is going on . The exhibition becomes a peace of art itself, a creative manifestation.
Arranging exhibitions was not a new thing for me. I could use my own experience from Ukraine and my background as an architect.

Hans Henrik: Which artistic line, direction have you chosen for the gallery?

Sergei: First of all I prefer a personal line. Painting, photo, video, installation, collage. To me the important thing is, that the artist’s work means something to me. I do not care about whether the artist has a name, is famous. I never work with CV’s. Here in my gallery the artistic expression matters not the name.
I have an all round taste and has exhibited artists from all over the world.

Hans Henrik: Are you not finding it difficult to be both an artist and a gallery owner at the same time?

Sergei: Yes perhaps. But it has great importance to me. As an artist I have been working a lot alone. I am not part of an artistic group, and my contacts to Danish artists are limited. Senko Studio is to me a way of creating international contacts. And It contributes to my own personal, artistic development. I believe that my own work is more focused now.

Senko Studio

Hans Henrik: Which reactions have you received from your own town Viborg?

Sergei: It is quite a challenge to start an avant-garde gallery in a provincial city as Viborg in Jutland. But I live here, and my family has strong roots in Denmark now. The city has given me a lot, so to me it is quite natural to give something in return. Things are moving slow, but I am optimistic and the interest towards the gallery is growing.

Hans Henrik: A support organization for the gallery has started. What is its purpose?

Sergei: The purpose is support. It is a good feeling, that other people are behind you, support you. Maybe in the future it will help bringing the city to understand, that I deserve public, economic support. A non commercial organization might contribute to that. At this moment I get no financial support from the city, but perhaps they do not take into consideration that Senko Studio is a non commercial gallery. I do not make any money being an owner, quite the opposite.

Hans Henrik:
What are your visions for the future?

Sergei: I would like to present my thoughts about international artistic cooperation to a much bigger audience. Showing my ideas at international art fairs. And I could use a wealthy sponsor. But where do you find one? It would be a challenge to arrange exchanges between museums and artists. That would bring more exciting and provocative exhibitions to Viborg.
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