Ola Lanko

Ola Lanko (1985, Kyiv, Ukraine) is a trans-disciplinary artist. From photography to immersive multi-sensorial installations, Lanko’s practice consists of layered structures combining intuitive and rational ‘wisdoms’. Over the past 10 years, she has built a continuous ever-changing practice employing mediums of photography, moving image, sound, aroma and flavour, to name a few.

Ola Lanko has graduated from the photography departments at, both, the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (2012) and the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague (2010), and received a Master’s degree in sociology at the National University of Kyiv (2007). For her graduation work at the Rietveld, Ola Lanko was awarded the Steenbergen Stipendium, an acknowledged annual prize for photography graduates. In 2013, she received the New talent Photography award. Over the last 10 years, she has received four Mondriaan Fund Stipends and Grants.

Her work was shown in numerous art institutions such as FOAM, the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Kunst Haus Wien (Vienna), Museo Amparo (México) and Musée de l’Elysée (Switzerland). In 2015, she was an artist in residency at WIELS Contemporary art center in Brussels and attended HISK post-academic art institute in Gent, Belgium, in 2017. Works of Ola Lanko are part of the collection of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, ING, KPMG, LUMC, as well as various private collections.

Currently, her practice is inspired by alternative knowledge, cognitive science, transformative processes, monism, plants, smells, sounds and textiles. She addresses rising inequality and fear, polarization and shattering of common realities, the crisis of meaning and trust, subconscious drives and desires. Besides her artistic practice, Ola teaches at the photography department in the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague.

Her solo exhibition Insight Whisperer (2021) is a playful exploration of materiality translated into abstraction. It features the artist’s most recent research in which she is looking for a crossover between metaphysics, new spirituality, agnosticism, materiality, and the real. The transdisciplinary character of the exhibition is reflected in photographic works, sound, video, aroma and intimate conversations with the visitors in search for their personal insight through questioning and self-inquiry.

Lanko’s series Operation Theatre of Common Inclinations (2017) explores the seven sins, or inclinations, which have to be conquered in order to establish a well-functioning society, where one can sacrifice his own needs for the good of others. Click here for more information on Operation Theatre of Common Inclinations. 

For her series Pantheon one zero (2017), Ola Lanko started an investigation into the origins of God’s personification. Looking at the features which Greek Gods had, such as eternal life, teleportation, prediction of events etc. they remind the directions that contemporary technology, social strategies and scientific experiments take. For more information on Pantheon one zero, click here.

Mountain (2015) is a three-dimensional collage comprising hundreds of photographs of depicted landscapes from all over the world. Click here for more information on this work.

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