Turin, an exhibition-flash of contemporary Ukrainian art at Rivoli Castle

From March 10 to 13, Rivoli Castle hosts "A Letter from the Front," an exhibition of film works and moving images by contemporary Ukrainian artists, curated by Nikita Kadan and Giulia Colletti.

Four days to learn about the film and moving image production of some important contemporary Ukrainian artists: it happens at the Castello di Rivoli - Museum of Contemporary Art where, from March 10 to 13, 2022, A Letter from the Front, an exhibition of film works and moving images by contemporary artists from Ukraine, curated by artist Nikita Kadan (Kiev, 1982) with Giulia Colletti, is staged. The title of the exhibition is borrowed from the 1947 Soviet painting by Aleksandr Laktionov (Rostov-on-Don, 1910 - Moscow, 1972).

Ukrainian artists participating in the exhibition with their works are currently stuck in cities under siege or have managed to take refuge in border areas or neighboring countries. They are mobilizing inside or outside the borders of the war-torn country, measuring distance through their own bodies. Some of them failed to retrieve their hard drives before leaving their homes and studios, and therefore this review can only also confront the ways in which works are saved digitally on servers, clouds and web platforms. The screenings are introduced by a streaming conversation between Nikita Kadan, who is in Kiev, and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of the Castello di Rivoli.

The exhibition includes works by AntiGONNA, Nikita Kadan, Yaroslav Futymsky, Nikolay Karabinovych, Dana Kavelina, Alina Kleytman, Yuri Leiderman, Katya Libkind, Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey, Lada Nakonechna, R.E.P., Revkovsky / Rachinsky, Oleksiy Sai.

“The greater the distances,” declare the participating artists, “the more united we feel in our demand to stop Russian aggression in Ukraine. We could not be more in solidarity than we are now, precisely in these moments when we are realizing that years of political struggle are in danger of dissolving and going up in smoke. The selection of film works and moving images presented here are not strictly about the ongoing conflict. Rather, they are testimonies to the efforts we made (or thought we made) to prevent the conflict from escalating. These works can be read as a foreshadowing of the obvious and inevitable catastrophe that too often in Ukraine’s history has been tangible.”

“The Museum today,” says Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, “is a place that must be able to conceive of its activity at different speeds, that of reflection that underlies exhibition projects that are planned over long periods of time and that of reaction that quickly it is appropriate to have in borderline situations, such as those we are experiencing, in which even a Museum can and perhaps must play its part, always in the spirit of sharing, cultural production and peace.”

The conversation between Nikita Kadan and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev will be broadcast via Instagram live at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 10, 2022. The screenings will be broadcast in-person from the Rivoli Castle Theater from March 10-13 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and, starting March 11, also on the Rivoli Castle’s Digital Cosmos page and the Il Giornale dell’Arte web page.

Nikita Kadan (Kiev, Ukraine, 1982), lives and works in Kiev. He is a member of the art group R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space, since 2004) and co-founder and member of the curatorial and activist group Hudrada (Art Committee, 2008). He often works in interdisciplinary collaborations - with architects, Human Rights Watch activists and sociologists.

Turin, an exhibition-flash of contemporary Ukrainian art at Rivoli Castle
Turin, an exhibition-flash of contemporary Ukrainian art at Rivoli Castle

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