In spend your life mining this death and it will only bring you despair (2012), Pylypchuk draws inspiration from everyday materials, such as ubiquitous Igloo or esky coolers, and imbues his miners with funereal emotion. The anthropomorphic quality that is so evident in his work carries us to different levels of thought. Pylypchuk’s miners all carry black hearts, evoking his own long-term struggle with the inevitability of losing his elderly parents. Now that the loss has occurred, however, he has become more spiritual about it. The dreariness and monotony of working in a mineshaft, it seems, is like a Sisyphean challenge: seeking not only a heart of gold, but respite from a mournful condition. The loss of Pylypchuk’s father is the burden, for it was he who instilled in Pylypchuk the creative sensibility to put things together in unusual combinations.
'In spend your life mining this death and it will only bring you despair' was installed in the Dog-Leg Tunnel on Cockatoo Island for the 18th Biennale of Sydney
We are all going down a very steep hill on pretty shitty bicycles. It is a matter of how long you can stay on your bike, and whether you hold up the person next to you so you both don’t fall off or you push the person next to you so you can stay on your bike. I like to document both.