ICA-Sofia Gallery
34, Vasil Levski Blvd Sofia, Bulgaria, CO 1504

Zhanna Kadyrova

Artist Talk with Zhanna Kadyrova

Feb 22, 2024
Opening: 5:00 pm
Kalin Serapionov
Zhanna Kadyrova was born (1981) in Brovary, Kyiv region, Ukraine, where she currently lives and works. Member of the R.E.P. group (Revolutionary Experimental Space). After graduating from the Taras Shevchenko State Art School in 1999, she received the Kazimir Malevich Award and the Grand Prize of the Kyiv Sculpture Project (both in 2012). She has been awarded the ‘Special Award’ (2011), ‘Main Award’ (2013) and ‘Special Award’ of Future Generation International (2014), all from the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kyiv.

From the very beginning, Kadyrova’s practice has been linked to various disciplines such as sculpture, photography, video, performance. It is characterized by a thorough focus on the place and space of the exhibition. In her work, the problem of context unravels to reveal the rhythm of History in Motion - that of a world whose multiple layers disappear behind its immediacy. Often deviating from the aesthetic canons of the socialist ideal still present in the legacy of modern Ukraine, Kadyrova’s perspective is partially informed by the plastic and symbolic values ​​of urban building materials. Thus, ceramics, glass, stone and concrete fall into the spotlight of her creativity. 

Kadyrova was working on several specific projects when Russia’s war against Ukraine began in February 2022. This drastically changed all her plans. From her new home in the Carpathian Mountains, she began work on the humanitarian project PALIANYTSIA, which has already been exhibited around the world (Italy, Germany, Norway, Japan, France, USA, Sweden, Austria, Georgia, Romania, Thailand, and India). Zhanna returned to Kiev to create works about the war, which were presented as part of her first major retrospective, opened at the Kunstverein Hannover (Germany). Another major exhibition “Flying Trajectories” was shown at the Pinchuk Art Center in Kyiv (Ukraine) from June 2023.
“Art is perceived as a ’civilized activity’”, she said at the time. “Well, war is uncivilized, a matter of brutal killing and raping, and nothing the civilized world has created, such as dialogue, helps. I use real violence to create art,” (Quote from Charlotte Higgins’ article “This is our reality’: Ukrainian artist puts bomb-torn roads into gallery”, The Guardian, 30/10/2023) https://www.theguardian.com/.../ukrainian-artist-bomb...

Part of the 2024 annual program of ICA-Sofia entitled "Superpositions 3*". The programme is guided by the principle that interdisciplinarity is a major vector in contemporary art practice. The series of exhibitions examine the connections between art and fields such as: politics / poetics; science and technology; popular culture; gender and social movements; ecology and migration. The discursive couples are reflected in the structure of each exhibition - a dialogue between two authors - one from Bulgaria and one guest.

*Superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum physics, according to which every elementary particle exists in all its theoretically possible positions simultaneously; but when measured or observed, it gives a result corresponding to only one possible configuration.

The annual programme "Superpositions" is supported by the National Fund Culture / Annual Programme for Support of Professional Organisations in the Field of Arts

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