Fundraising project - Emergency in Ukraine
Castello 2145 | Riva San Biasio 30122 Venezia 21 April – 30 June 2022 Opening: Wednesday 20 April 2022 | From 10am to 8pm
During The 59th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Galleria Continua is proud to present “PALIANYTSIA” by Ukrainian artist, Zhanna Kadyrova. More than an exhibition, this project is a demonstration that aims to allow the artist to tell not only her story but the story of many Ukrainians in this historic and tragic moment. This project presents works in stone as well as works on paper and a documentary film by Ivan Sautkin, realized by professional directors from Kiev, Olena Zashko and Ganna Yeresko.
In this frightening instance, in which over 6.5 million Ukrainians are displaced internally and externally and many have abandoned their professions to fight for the freedom of their nation, Zhanna Kadyrova has conceived and realized this project from a location in Western Ukraine, a village called Berezovo that’s based 30 km from the Hungarian border, scouted out by herself and her co-author Denis Ruban. The location is isolated and they have managed to convert an outhouse into an exhibition and studio space, installing electricity and heating. Protected by the Carpathian Mountains, it’s a place through which many rivers run, smoothing the large stones that lie in and around them: these reminded the artist of a typical loaf of bread found throughout Ukraine.
“Palianytsia” means bread, typically a large round wheat bread, baked in an oven. It’s a word that, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has taken on a new meaning; since Russian occupiers cannot pronounce the word properly, it’s become a type of shibboleth, distinguishing friends from enemies. These works therefore take on an extra meaning, representing not only a fundamental life source that crosses all boundaries of society but an identifier. They are a symbol of sustenance and resistance made from a common, found material that in its new form represents a profound and life changing experience being lived by a whole nation.
Zhanna Kadyrova has always worked with recycled and commonly used materials associated with the construction and architectural industry, such as tiles, ceramics, bricks and concrete. Her artistic research is linked to the historical context, to Soviet propaganda materials, to post- Soviet modernity, to the idea of community, to the concept of public space both in relation to the private and the collective and to the
relationship between works of art and visitor. Rather than offering the viewer images or representations of elements of civilization, her works highlight the visual systems used to convey messages and influence society.
The project will also involve a performance; the emission of air- raid sirens outside the space on Riva San Biasio, at the same time each day for the three opening days of La Biennale di Venezia: “The Venice Biennale is known for being the most important and prestigious international contemporary art exhibition. Our exhibition is intended for the representatives of the world cultural community that meets in these pre-opening days. By filling the Giardini and the Arsenale with the scream of the anti-alarm sirens, we want to make people hear what ordinary people in Ukraine have been hearing every day for more than a month; people who live under the bombings, people who are at home and simply want to live in their country.”, declares the artist. Through “PALIANYTSIA” Zhanna Kadyrova wants to spread her message: that every artistic gesture makes us visible and makes the voices of the Ukrainian people heard!
“PALIANYTSIA” is a project by Zhanna Kadyrova with the collaboration of Denis Ruban and Ivan Sautkin, curated by Veronica Siciliani Fendi, Giovanni Giacomo Paolin is the project manager with special thanks to Olga Strada, Alona Tyshchenko and Ivan Yastrebov and particular recognition goes to Yuriy Solodukha.
Zhanna Kadyrova was born in 1981 in Brovary, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine, where she currently lives and works. Member of “R.E.P.” group (Revolution Experimental Space). After graduating from the Taras Shevchenko State Art School in 1999, she received the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award and the Grand Prix of the Kyiv Sculpture Project (both 2012). She was awarded the Special Prize (2011), Main Prize (2013) and Special Prize – Future Generation International (2014), all by PinchukArtCentre.
Her most recent projects are all site specific, including an outdoor installation in the Semmering Mountains (Austria), a spread intervention and perma- nent sculpture in the village of Tolfa (Italy) a and a sculptural project for the Shanghai Jing’an International Sculpture Project (JISP) in Shanghai (China).
She participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 58th, 56th and 55th Venice Biennale, the 5th Moscow Biennale, the 2017 Kyiv Biennale and “CrackUpCrackDown”, the 33rd Biennial of Graphic Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibi- tions at Centre Pompidou, Palais Tokyo; La Kunsthalle Mulhouse (all France), Kunstraum Innsbruck (Austria) Ludwig Museum, Budapest (Hungary), Museum of Modern Art; Uyazdovski Castle, Warsaw (both Poland), Spinnerei Leipzig; Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe; DAAD, Zimmerstrabe, Berlin (all Germany), the National Union of Cuban Architects and Construction Engineers, Havana (Cuba), Sara Hilden Museum, Tampere (Finnland), Lviv Municipal Art Center, Lviv, National Art Museum of Ukraine and PinchukArtCentre, Kyiv (all Ukraine).
In March 2022, Kadyrova should have started her residency in Peyrassol (France) to work on ‘Island’, a permanent site specific project and then go back to Kyiv to prepare her first major retrospective that should be held at the PinchukArtCentre in 2023. The recent war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine has changed all the plans. Zhanna had to leave her home and studio in Kyiv and is currently located in the Transcarpathian region (western Ukraine).
Kadyrova’s practice, tackling since its very beginning disciplines as differ- ent as sculpture, photo, video, performance, deeply focuses on the exhibi- tion site and space. In her work, the issue of context unravels to reveal the rhythm of History on the move - that of a world whose multiple layers dis- appear behind their immediacy. Often diverting the aesthetic canons of the socialist ideal still present in the heritage of contemporary Ukraine, Kadyrova’s per- spective is partially informed by the plastic and symbolic values of urban building materials. Thus, ceramics, glass, stone and concrete enter the spotlight of her work.
Zhanna Kadyrova is represented by GALLERIA CONTINUA San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana, Roma, Sao Paulo, Paris, and ZAHORIAN & VAN ESPEN Bratislava / Prague.
For press or social media requests, please contact Phoebe Owston, communication and social media manager.