“NO! NO! NO!”
video 21:35 mins
available 20 July – 3 August
The main protagonists of the film are a group of young people from Kharkiv, a city located in the Eastern part of Ukraine. The time they reached their early twenties coincided with the breakout of the war, in the neighbouring region of Donbass. An LGBT activist, a poet, a fashion model, a group of street artists, a computer game designer – all of these artists working in the creative industries, which would normally indicate a relatively peaceful millennial city lifestyle, but the proximity to the war affects each of the characters and their activities. The film’s ‘heroes’ react and reflect political events through their specific relationships with urban space, and the experience of how social media creates their reality.
Mykola Ridnyi is an artist and filmmaker. He was born 1985 in Kharkiv, currently lives and works in Kyiv, Ukraine. Since 2005, he has been a founding member of the SOSka group an art collective based in Kharkiv. The same year he cofounded the SOSka gallery-lab, an artist-run-space in an abandoned house in a center of Kharkiv.
Switch on Red, 2016
video, 3:02 mins
Courtesy of the artist and Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig/Berlin
available 20 July – 3 August
Introduced by Susanne Clausen and Lada Nakonechna
SC: Can you explain how you understand the notion of catastrophe in relation to your work and to this project?
LN: It is easy to speculate on history when it is far away. I propose that we try to place ourselves inside the catastrophe and to think about finding ways of how we can speak about it from the position of being within.
SC: You have linked this notion to your work during the residency at the Abbey Ruins. You chose to show the flint stones that you found on the site of the Abbey, and you cast one of the stones and then you displayed multiple casts suggesting how this simple object/matter could be read and used in a different context in a situation of war or of protest.
LN: This feeling of catastrophe for me has something to do with a deep sense of loneliness. This is when something is happening to you and you don’t know how to deal with it, and you don’t have any tools and you cannot relate it to any discourse or story that might help you with this situation. I am really interested in thinking about ruins in my work, but I normally don’t relate it to a context that is not naturally close to me.
SC: How do you understand the notion of catastrophe in the context of the war in Ukraine? The work catastrophe actually originates from the Greek word meaning ‘overturn’. It originally referred to the disastrous finish of a drama.
LN: I think for people this notion will be different. Catastrophe could be something very personal, but on the other hand it is not only about the single person, because the person is not alone, in this situation or in this war. It is also a catastrophe of relations and of the social sphere, which influences politics, general attitudes and our relationships.
SC: How are you are planning to involve contributors of the online publication to work on this notion this notion. You will be using the Webrecorder software piloted by Rhizome, which allows for different ways of layering of information and content, archiving searches and different paths to create personal digital archives of online content. You could then think about how this online structure also falls apart as it ages online or is disconnected.
LN: We will propose to contributors to think about their own context of catastrophe ,and to give us their evidence, their own relation to this theme via the online content. The proposition is very relevant for working with the notion of the ruin, considering the situation in Ukraine. With any catastrophe like this, you always know it could happen but you don’t believe it will, and so when it really happens, you ask yourself, how could it be? In the contemporary world, since the beginning of the 20th Century, so many disasters have passed – people and society have worked with and about this so much already and you think it will not happen again, it should not happen again and then it does, and you cannot comprehend it. So we will try to work with this notion for our publication.