Exhibition

• 04​ 09​ – 03​ 10​ 2015 •
An Exhibition Against the Covert War in Ukraine Phone Calls from the Cemetery and Other Stories

An event in the frame of PLURIVERSALE III.

With OLGA CHERNYSHEVA, ALEVTINA KAKHIDZE, EREDOVOE UDOGESTVO, YURI LEIDERMAN & ANDREY SILVESTROV, MELNYCHUK-BURLAKA GROUP, OLEKSIY RADYNSKI & TOMÁŠ RAFA, MYKOLA RIDNYI, ANASTASIA VEPREVA, curated by EKATERINA DEGOT and DAVID RIFF

The Exhibition Phone Calls from the Cemetery and Other Stories is held in partnership with The School of Kyiv, Kyiv Biennial 2015.

Opening hours:
Wed–Fri 14:00–18:00
Sat 12:00–18:00
Please note that the exhibition will be closed on Saturday, 19.09. because auf the set of the concert Lyudska Podoba.
Venue: ACADEMYSPACE, Herwarthstraße 3, 50672 Cologne
Free admission

Fri 4 9 2015 / 19:00
Phone Calls from the Cemetery Exhibition opening

Phone Calls from the Cemetery and Other Stories is a group exhibition by Ukrainian and Russian artists in defiance of the war raging in southeastern Ukraine. It is a hybrid war of black ops, propaganda and all-out deceit, and it involves a total onslaught of images with everything the mass media can muster. Artists offer an asymmetrical response with stories and pictures of their own. Fighting the twin rise of Russian imperialism and European triumphalism, they suggest imaginative alternatives to the flat fictions of propaganda. The exhibition takes ist name from a work by Alevtina Kakhidze, presented as a performance directed by Georg Blokus, and as a series of drawings in the ACADEMYSPACE.

OLGA CHERNYSHEVA
Untitled
Charcoal, paper, 2015, courtesy of Galerie Volker Diehl

Moscow artist Olga Chernysheva’s drawings, paintings, photos and videos explore the human dimension of social inertia, the same inertia that plays such a huge role in the present war. What do the Russian and Ukrainian populations really think? Are they docile and indifferent, or maybe just a little immune to the floods of propaganda? Chernysheva’s hunched and huddled figures leave the answer open in drawings inspired by nineteenth-century realism, a subtext in many other works of the exhibition.

EREDOVOE UDOGESTVO
YOU ARE A PART OF US!
Video, 5', 2014, Russian with English subs

The day after Russian military in unmarked uniforms took control of Crimea, the young artists of the loose Saint Petersburg collective eredovoe udogestvo went out for a walk and bought a sack of tangerines, the three larger of which push around all the smaller fruit in a short, chillingly blunt video performance they made on the spot. The short film is as simple as it is poetic. As the artists of the group say, the childlike innocence of this form was only possible in the early days of the war, when what soon became a tragedy still looked like a farce.

YURI LEIDERMAN & ANDREY SILVESTROV
Odessa, Fragment 205
16 mm to HD video, ca. 30', 2015, Ukraine, Germany, Austria, Russian, Ukrainian with English subs

Yuri Leiderman comes from Odessa, whose art scene is now split as the war forces individuals to take sides. The most recent installment of his ongoing collaboration with Moscow filmmaker Andrei Silvestrov gathers protagonists of Odessa’s conceptual underground for a political demonstration qua religious procession celebrating two deceased icons of their scene. The procession chants ideological fragments collected from the dead artists’ social media accounts. This episode of their ongoing project is a cocommission with the Kyiv Biennial.

MELNYCHUK-BURLAKA GROUP
Under the Bridge
Installation, digital prints, 2015

As architects by training, Olexander Burlaka and Ivan Melnychuk are drawn to the real and metaphorical bridges constantly evoked on both sides of the newly created divide between Ukraine and Russia: here, there are the bridges famously reproduced on Euro banknotes; there, Crimea will be connected to the mainland by bridging the Strait of Kerch. Burlaka and Melnychuk’s work traces these metaphors and imagines how they might produce stränge new architecturalpolitical hybrids, reutilizing nuclear submarines as pontoons for bridges.

OLEKSIY RADYNSKI & TOMÁŠ RAFA
Footage for a film “People Who Came To Power”
HD video (rough cut), 18', 2015, Russian and Ukrainian with English subs

Oleksiy Radynski and Tomáš Rafa went to the Donbass region just as the war was beginning. Their incisive documentary sheds light on the so-called separatist movement in a vivid visual sociology verging on the macabre, its new political reality modelled out of a fatal miasma of national sentiment, misplaced religious belief and genuine social grievances. The ones who are really in charge are “polite green men” – Russian military in unmarked uniforms; one clearly sees them operating in the background.

MYKOLA RIDNYI
Regular places
HD video, 14', 2014, Russian and Ukrainian with English subs

Mykola Ridnyi’s hometown of Kharkiv is one of Eastern Ukraine’s largest Russian speaking cities, and one shaped by some of the most ambitious architecture in the entire former Soviet Union. In Ridnyi’s film, the half-utopian, half-threatening familiarity of these vast urban spaces at peacetime is interrupted by audio of angry crowds from demonstrations and squabbles between two opposing sides. Disordered insults congeal into new quasi-totalitarian chants. As the urban landscape absorbs hate, it changes irrevocably.

ANASTASIA VEPREVA
Lost machine
Installation, rollerball pen, aquarel paper, mapping on the wall, 2014–2015

Anastasia Vepreva couldn’t help but notice that Russia loses a very large amount of military hardware for a country so hypocritically still at peace. Where and how did it get lost? The young artist from Saint Petersburg provides a global map of a not-so-secret neo-colonialism, one of whose main features is a violent form of weapons disposal. Her lovingly detailed drawings of twisted hulks and busted guns express a subversive sympathy for the tortured objects abandoned on Ukraine’s “peacetime” battlefields.