Maxim Dondyuk, b. 1983
Visual Artist, Photographer, Documentarist
His first projects were made out of a long-term immersion into the social and historical reality of his country. Among the issues Maxim raised were the problem of tuberculosis in Ukraine; the military upbringing of children in the secret camp in the Crimea Mountains; the Ukrainian revolution. The project “Culture of Confrontation” became a turning point in Maxim’s artistic work. He moved away from classical documentary narrative form and rather plunged into emotions, reflection, and more universal terms. The subsequent projects become the author’s experimentation with themes, meanings, and forms.
In 2017 he worked on a project “Inter Vitam et Mortem”, which tells the horror of war through destroyed and forgotten places, previously been bloody battlefields, through traces of hundreds of bullet holes in houses. The scars on buildings and fields are the scars in human souls, who have ever witnessed the war. Starting from 2016 Maxim works on a long-term photographic research project “Untitled Project”, where he starts combining his photographs with archival materials found in the Chernobyl restricted areas. Working as a photographer and some kind of an archeologist, Maxim puts together the images of Past and Present. Landscapes of the territories devastated by nuclear energy, intertwined with the found films and photographs, which show people, who inhabited these territories, in their everyday life. In 2019 appeared an abstract series “Apeiron”. In this work, Maxim plays with his own and viewers’ imagination. He proposes to go beyond direct contemplation and to challenge one’s perceptions and assumptions, while looking on images on the films which, after staying for more than 30 years in the Chernobyl restricted zone, lost their former meaning.
Maxim has been widely awarded and nominated for numerous international recognitions including International Photographer of the Year in Lucie Awards, finalist of the Prix Pictet Photography Prize, a Magnum Photos competition ‘30 under 30’ for emerging documentary photographers, finalist of the W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. His works have been exhibited internationally, at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, Somerset House in London, MAXXI National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome, International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum in Geneva, the Biennale of Photography in Bogota in Colombia, among others. He also was awarded an artist residency Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. Maxim’s works are held in private and museum collections, including the National Museum of Photography in Colombia, the Benaki Museum in Greece, the National Museum of The History of Ukraine in WWII.