Six questions for
Zhanna Kadyrova

Tique | art paper asks six questions to an artist about their work and inspiration.
This week: Zhanna Kadyrova.

Artist Zhanna Kadyrova
Lives in Kyiv, Ukraine

How do you describe your own art practice?

One of the most important aspects of my work is the experimentation – with forms, materials, the media and meanings. Usually they become sculptures, installations and objects, as well as works in public space.

What was your first experience with art?

It happened when following the accident on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 we were taken away with my sister to Urals, far from our hometown Kyiv. We spent the summer with our grandparents, in their house in the village. One day we found paint cans in the backyard; they were used for painting floors, window frames and doors. Some paint was left at the bottom of each can, sometimes a lot, sometimes less. We immediately used it by colouring the inner part of the fence, following the principle of making use of everything that was left in the cans at its maximum. When our grandmother saw it she scolded us, and we remembered it for a long time.

What is your greatest source of inspiration?

Everyday reality, which can be so surprising sometimes, that art seems to be a weak competitor. So observing the simple life, urban processes and traveling around my homeland and the world.

What do you need in order to create your work?

Ideas are born in very different situations, and to realize them one needs time, concentration, sometimes a clear deadline, sometimes a budget. Isolation can be of great help, for example a residency in an unknown place, where there are no familiar distractions.

What are you working on at the moment?

Now I am working on the project Yours/Mine and writing texts about this work.
The most full version of the project is now on show at Galleria Continua, in San Gimignano, for my personal exhibition Mia Casa, Mia Fortezza.
It’s an installation of transparent bricks, on which the photos of interiors and exteriors of residential homes are printed. These photos were collected in different cities and villages of Ukraine, including it’s freed and occupied territories, as well as the annexed Crimea. 80% of the photos were taken by myself, during a car journey. The rest was sent to me by my friends and friends of friends on my request through emails. Each “brick” is accompanied by a short text about the place and the owners of the house. I still continue to collect the material and work on it.

What work or artist has most recently surprised you?

I was impressed by a recent series of exhibitions that took place at my friends apartment, Misha Alekseenko. The place is in a Kyiv dormitory, far away from the center. I liked a lot how the artists worked with the space and the idea of an inhabited place. 3 solo exhibitions took place there, with 2 weeks interval, of artists Misha Alekseenko, Taras Kamennyi, and Danil Galkin.

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