New paintings, charcoal drawings and collages by Nikita Kadan are based on combining images which relate to three different thematic fields: fate of socialist monuments in Ukraine, destroyed during 'decommunisation politics' period which started in 2014; Ukrainian avant-garde art of 1920th and current debates about it's 'national' and 'universalist' interpretations; collective rituals of Ukrainian youth, including nationalist torchlid marches and cosmopolitain techno parties in Kyiv. Combining different visual technics and overlapping different types of images (quoted from chronicles of Ukrainian social life, from past and current political propaganda and from art history) Kadan describes complicated relations between post-Soviet rethinking of XX century experiences and zones of collective amnesia, between internationalism and nationalism, between historical and contemporary. One of central questions posed by 'The Beautiful Colonizer' is whether one can speak about the Soviet period of Ukrainian history as 'colonization' and how relevant is to look at the post-Soviet contemporaniety of the country through post-colonial lenses.
According to Katerina Gregos 'Nikita Kadan's work poignantly navigates the complicated terrain between different political ideologies, transcending their one-dimensional definitions of utopia or dystopia in order to examine the repercussions of their practices with a more objective eye. At the same time, his practice exercises a critique of the neocapitalist order that has come to replace socialist ideals and values in former Soviet countries – however flawed – that left behind a social vacuum that still remains to be filled'*.
The film "Documenting Cxema" by Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey dedicated to the biggest Rave in Ukraine will be shown as an intervention to exhibition in dialogue with the works of Nikita Kadan.
*Katerina Gregos, 'On the Politics of Transformation', 2015
Sunday 9 February, 3 - 9 pm, reception Corsendonk bier