The Drillalians Graphics

Everything here is justified, there is not a single extraneous stroke that might, like an autumn bump in the road, trip up a thought perceiving such a construction. Here we see that the image is born through layering.

Layering gives us the face of sound, the face of space in motion, and the face of earthly motion.

Sergei Yesenin

You see before you fragments of two series of Boris Yukhananov's drawings based on the Drillalians project — the Premonition album, and the cycle entitled Graphic Chronicles/Drillalian Wars. Yukhananov created the drawings over a period of years as he worked on the Drillalians opera-novel.

The dense, ornamental images of the “pre-war” life of an ancient, otherworldly civilization seems to have been created according to the laws of automatic drawing, although it possesses a well-defined and distinct structure. Whimsical images of Drillalian creatures interact and coexist with each other, forming their own ecosystem. A sensation of alarm in Premonition is interjected into these idyllic pictures of peaceful life, emerging in the next cycle as black spots. Like a fungus, dark spores penetrate organic tissue, overtaking creature after creature, and entangling space as might a huge spider.

Once it has erupted, the catastrophe brings on a drastic change of form: torn from their environment, the Drillalian creatures cling to one another in fear, acquiring more distinct features. They are now residents of Guernica, Korean soldiers before being shot, the mothers of Cologne hugging their murdered children. Linked in an incredible synergistic effort, they perform an act of regeneration. Drillalian civilization, like human skin, is restored again. Although devastated, it remains alive: color disappears almost entirely.

As might an analytical artist, Boris Yukhananov builds his images according to the laws of a biological organism. However, he focuses not on the process of growth and birth, but rather on the existence of a single, otherworldly noosphere, the possible destruction of which will be an incredible catastrophe. Metamorphoses exist outside of time; occurring now, they are still yet to come.

Anastasia Spirenkova