GRAD presents an exhibition of new and recent work by Russian and Ukrainian contemporary artists selected by curator, art critic and theorist Sergey Khachaturov.
Borderlands studies the fault lines of art and politics, challenging divisions between the territories of aesthetics and activism. Emerging and established artists from Russia and Ukraine present work concerned with change and conflict in their contemporary political and social situations.
The works on display range in media, encompassing film, sculpture and photography. Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova presents a brick sculpture that recalls the recently redrawn map of Ukraine. Russian artist and independent film director Evgeny Granilshchikov presents a video combining footage of real and fictional young Muscovites talking about their own lives, filmed on a mobile phone, while Nikita Shokhov presents visually distorted images of demonstrations and political marches in Moscow. Krasnodar-based ZIP art group explore the capability of contemporary art to transform social communities with an interactive installation.
Borderlands is part of GRAD Lab, an experimental project formed to facilitate communication between different disciplines and to build cross-cultural dialogue. Through artist talks, workshops, film screenings, walks, discussions and exhibitions, GRAD Lab addresses a contemporary shift of borders between art and action, art and activism, and art and life.
Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova presents a large scale, monumental sculpture, cut out from a brick wall of an abandoned factory. The outline of the sculpture is deliberately reminiscent of the shape of Crimea; its rough edges and fallen bricks suggest the breakdown of the Soviet Union and its economic collapse. One side of the wall is lined with original Soviet wallpaper, the other is blackened from fire damage. Created in 2014, as Russia commenced its military intervention in Ukraine, Kadyrova’s piece reflects the uneasy atmosphere of that time.
Kadyrova will be installing the work live at GRAD in the week before the opening on 19 March.