Nikita Kadan – The Spectacle of Unorganized Masses

13/12 2018 – 2/2 2019

Nikita Kadan engages in contemplative art, tying closely in with the social circumstances and history of Ukrainian and Soviet culture. His objects – even if referencing extreme experiences – are devoid of emotional embellishment. Kadan exercises his activities on images, objects, archives, yet primarily on local 20th and 21st century discourses in a global perspective. In a quest for inspiration, he travels the world, explores literature, the Internet, cultural institutions storage and archives, and co-operates with groups of people representing a broad spectrum of political preference.

He shows his works in reference to museum exhibitions. They appear in showcases, on stylish pedestals, in clean interiors. I read such visual as an ironic gesture alluding to the already deconstructed classical mission of a museum as a venue intended to present ideal models and an abstract of reality. Yet such technique allows expression to be revealed, inviting the viewer into asking, “What breed of practices and actions did these objects involve? What are the curious rituals documented in photographs? And what is with the molten fragment of matter brought in from Stanytsia Luhanska, a settlement located approximately 60 km from the Russian border in Eastern Ukraine on the River Donets, traversed with the frontline between Ukrainian troops and Russia-assisted separatists, and affected by unceasing combat since 2014?”  The object shows traces of exposure to high temperature, kinetic energy, weather, and some form of impact. The work has been “produced” by warfare, with immense dynamics, and unintentionally. Before that? Almost certainly a gray Soviet edifice. Who was the shooter? Perhaps he did not want to hit a civilian building or kill any human being.

Curators: Monika Szewczyk, Michal Koleček
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