Exhibition within the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre
and PAC UA programme

May 31, 2024 — July 14, 2024

«Непідвладне»  Виставка у межах діяльності  Дослідницької платформи PinchukArtCentre  та програми PAC UA

The exhibition “Insubordinate” presents the practice of two artistic communities that were active in Odesa at the turn of 2010-2020. Practically, it is about the “NOCH” gallery and a temporary collaboration that operated in the space of the former shipyard (SRZ-2) and consisted of Dasha Chechushkova, Illia Todurkin and _*.
The “NOCH” gallery, which functioned in the studio of the artist Oleksandra Kadzevych (co-initiated by Harry Kraievets), was a place where experimental projects were conducted which could not take part in official or commercially oriented art institutions in Odesa.** At the same time, it was a place where microcommunities were formed and considered as an alternative center of gravity for the independent art scene. For this exhibition, the “NOCH” team decided to show the works of Odesa-based artist Andrii Lavrykov (Borman), which is an echo of the gallery's Odesa program.

The group of Chechushkova, Todurkin and _ was a part of a rather massive and multifaceted artistic movement in the shipyard. This community, which defined itself through the idea of “coexistence”, had the hallmarks of a sect, family or mystical union. Now, after numerous transformations and even after its formal dissolution, it still influences the worldview and style of a wider range of young Ukrainian artists.

These two groups were united by the idea of staying out of the struggle for power in the cultural field, and avoiding domination and subordination relations altogether. In other words, they were united by a desperate attempt to “just be” in their own unique way, not competing with any other. Being insubordinate often signifies marginality. At the same time, the insubordinate is freedom of maneuver, a possibility of an unexpected, paradoxical and life-saving response where the power-oriented logics of competition, populism and ideological subservience lead artistic movements to a dead end.

“Insubordinate” is an exhibition about the possibility of thinking separately and uncoordinated in moments of powerful social consensus. Essentially, it's about the loneliness of art as a form of its political nature.

*The name of the third artist will remain anonymous at his own request.

**We do not use the term “institution” in this context, as it is excessively loaded with specific requirements that were mostly seen as unrealistic at that time and place.

Curated by Nikita Kadan.

Insubordinate. It's easy to say, it's hard to do, and it's even more so today when the topic of “dissent in the fortress during the siege” is back again.

When you make art, you look for an angle from which no one has looked before. Another place. As a matter of fact, art is an eternally “different” matter in a row of endeavors and activities of humanity. When the big “We” asserts its authority, art transitions from a vital source of questioning to an object of skepticism, suspicion, or even disapproval. Discussions regarding the necessity of doubt or criticism are postponed until post-war times. But who said that all wars must ever end?

Being an independent venue for non-commercial artworks or non-mass-media-oriented exhibitions in Odesa from 2019 to 2021 was truly dignified and sublime. You were like an open window that saved the then Odesa stage from suffocation. And also a window as a possibility of escape.

Now, three years later, you are back. Sending greetings across the border that cut through time and space. You return as a reminder of a time when the breath of history felt like a breeze from the sea through an artist’s studio window. And then came Never. More precisely, Nastalo Nikogda. The wind of history blows cities and museums to pieces. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water.

Why Borman's exhibition is here on the fifth floor is clear. The Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. And then there's that irony – whether it's the “Odesa-style” or the “contemporary-artistic” anecdotalism – that even seeps into obituaries.

You come here like ghosts from the infinitely distant times of Borman. Or Roitburd. Or Kulchytskyi. Or Voitsekhov.** But do you have another window open where you are now?

You can't see your friends through the steam, and you can't see people at all through the black smoke.

Khrushch: “Guys, just looking at you, it's sickening not only to be Ukrainian but even to be human.”** These words should be remembered in moments of identity crisis.

You made an otherness in your place and time. It worked like liberation. Now your otherness is “another place” and “another time.” It works like an echoing reminder.

Anyway, sometimes it is enough to remember that the window was here. And that there was a place to light a fire.

Sometimes I imagine Noch Gallery existing in a country with a curfew.


*Never Has Come (Nastalo Nikogda on the poster) is an exhibition by Nikolay Karabinovych at the Noch Gallery on June 18, 2021.
**Andriy Lavrykov also known as Borman (1975-2017), Odesa underground artist.
Oleksandr Roitburd (1961-2021), Odesa artist and a cultural actor. From 1997 to 1999, served as the Board Chairman of the Soros Contemporary Art Center in Odesa, followed by the role of Director at the Marat Guelman Gallery in Kyiv in 2002, and subsequently held the position of Director at the Odesa Art Museum from 2017 to 2021.
Myroslav Kulchytskyi (1970 - 2015). Odesa artist and curator. One of the pioneers of media art in Ukraine, created a number of video works in co-authorship with Vadim Chekorsky.
Leonid Voitsekhov (1955-1918). Odesa artist. In the early 1980s, he was one of the founders of the informal Odesa conceptual group.
***Valentyn Khrushch's saying that circulates in legends. Valentyn Khrushch (1943-2005), Odesa non-conformist artist, one of the key figures of the Odesa artistic underground in 1968-1982.

Noch Gallery is an initiative of the artist Alexandra Kadzevich and the writer and psychoanalyst Harri Kraievets, focused on short-term research and experiments by artists. These studies were about little-explored phenomena, unexpected situations, and consequences that have yet to manifest themselves. The results of these studies were one-day exhibitions in the studio overlooking the Odesa seaport.The Noch Gallery emerged in Kadzevich's studio in June 2018 as a place for 24-hour events-situations that could be shared with others. The goal of Noch is to meet and interact with local art scenes, and to revitalize the artistic field of Odesa by creating an intense discussion environment. For almost 3 years of its existence, Noch Gallery has hosted 34 exhibition projects by Ukrainian and foreign artists, and its space has become an influential cultural location in Odesa.

Let’s delve into the very darkness that embodies the essence of those who reside within it. We all have complex, sometimes psychotic relationships with the cities we live in, trying to find a center capable of reconciling all contradictions. It’s like searching for the eye of a storm, which requires a new kind of support akin to chimeras of immense magnitude, embodying worthless realities whose reference point is not a true starting point. Beyond this center lies chaos.This central place, which could serve as a foundation, is reminiscent of a skirting board in an apartment, unnoticeable but crucial to the structure. Let’s find this center, this place through which one can physically pass.Think about what must have been important here long ago, before all this, which now seems unnecessary to us. But over time, it becomes inevitable, as if part of an endless chain of events. Where are we now? And have I not remained in this place? As opposed to a space without an obvious center, which also has a right to exist.
Alexandra Kadzevich

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NOCH Gallery
The exhibition was created by: Alexandra Kadzevich and Harri Kraievets, with the participation of Nikolay Karabinovych

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Harri Kraievets in collaboration with Tomi Hazslinszky
A Pair of Friends Can't Be Seen in the Steam, 2024
Audio, 4'55"

Andriy Lavrykov, also known as Borman (1975-2017), was an Odesa-based underground artist. He participated in a number of exhibitions in Odesa in 2000’s-2010’s. He had a solo exhibition "Splashes" in 2012. Lavrykov's works are created from the poorest materials, and their exposition was often the result of a budgetless self-organization. The works from the series "Splashes" are made of wire "baskets" (the so-called muselets, which are used to fix the corks in sparkling wine bottles), flattened by jumping on them. Latin inscriptions are added to these wire figures (for example, Tinnementum - "tinnitus").

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Based on a sketch by Andriy Lavrykov (Borman)
Fountain of the Future, 2024
PET bottles

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Andriy Lavrykov (Borman)
from the series "Splashes", 2012
Paper, wood, wire

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Anonymous author
portrait of Bormann, 2014

This catalog presents projects documentations from twenty-nine artists who exhibited at Noch artist-run space between 2018 and 2021. This is the second supplemented edition, now including exhibitions from 2021. The initial edition, published in 2020, was made possible with the support of CEC ArtsLink and Open Place.

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The Tree Man is still in the Green Room in the Ship Repair Plant-2, Odesa* Imagine, even if there were solid ruins around, it would always be there.

You used to say “Sobytie” (Russian play of words for "event" and also "co-existence"). Now we have Spivbuttia ( Ukrainian play of words, which can mean both “co-existence” and “the song of existence”). Co-existence (. It seems, more is gained than lost in translation.
You moved. You sewed yourselves to the ground in the Lviv park with threads. That's something about translation as well.

The content changed. One left. Let's leave a rectangle of light in its place, literally. Others came, following the song of existence. They were a sect, a family, separated from other people, hanging above the ground. Sometimes they pretended to be naive.

They kept their distance from the big “We”. But the epoch made its demands.

The most insightful revelations, the most subtle intuitions of Piggy & Doggy’s language. Fragile and tender Piggy & Doggy’s past. Translate yesterday's yourself. Changeable, flowing surzhyks** of the transition period. Multiple ways of transition. Let's imagine instead of a transition into a new normality, an endless transition into the unknown, which is not the same as simply exiting.

The language of art is not agreed and normalized in principle if it is still art. All too often words appeared in the visual works, so that it was possible to easily hold these words on a string and at the same time let the visual component run free. You say, “these letters are actually painting”. Much will turn out to be painting in the near future.

But the utopia of this hypersensitive family-sectarian coexistence remains. You tried to carry it into the present, into the war, maybe you are still trying, at least partially. But now Kyiv, harsh capitalist everyday life are around, and, accordingly, atomization and alienation. It's a temptation, it's an exam. You are not the first and you will not be the last.

It is also interesting, who will be the first to say “What is insubordinate here? Don't you see where it is displayed?” This is usually how it works here. If you don't separate the birth of art from the usual flow of days, then you should separate creation and representation. Hang it on the wall and go. Others are in front of the picture, and you are behind it. You are not held; your hands are free.

There are no family photos here, by the way. As if it would be logical, they say, “everyday routines”, but this time we will focus on the imprints and echoes of presence. And yes, let's repeat, there's__*** who left. This is what silent memory looks like.

The insubordinate is never a permanent form. Insubordination is the never-ending work of separation from the big “We”. The effort to look at them, at us, and at yourself always from the outside. So “We” becomes more open and complex. But one day it will absorb your footprint and maybe even be grateful. Then others will come.

* The Green Room is a space in the Ship Repair Plant-2, where there is a sculpture co-authored by Dasha Chechushkova and _ under the tentative name “Tree Man”
**The derogatory term related to Russians and Russian language. The term is broadly used by Ukrainians during full-scale Russian invasion as a reaction to invader’s atrocities.
*** Surzhyk refers to a range of mixed (macaronic) sociolects of Ukrainian and Russian languages used in certain regions of Ukraine and adjacent lands. There is no unifying set of characteristics; the term is used for norm-breaking, non-obedience to or non-awareness of the rules of the Ukrainian and Russian standard languages.
**** * _ denotes the third member of the association

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Dasha Chechushkova
Sleep of the mind creates monsters
Original painting on glass
From the project "Book Air",
OSRZ-2, 2020
Courtesy of the Artist

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Ilya Todurkin
Drawings on paper, 2019 - 2023
Courtesy of the artist
* translations retain the author's grammar and punctuation

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Dasha Chechushkova
Paradise is now resting.
From the notebook "Dialogues with a Tree",
Gouache on canvas
Courtesy of the Artist

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-Poems that form a cube
-you are sitting in my head and watching a dream
relief by Ilya Todurkin
plasticine figure of Dasha C.
Video by Nastya Sopilnyk
Video - 2020
Sculpture - 2021
Relief - 2024

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When using photos, please, note copyright information:Photographs provided by the PinchukArtCentre © 2024. Photographed by Sergey Illin