STARTUP 2 - Page 129

Mia casa, mia fortezza ZHANNA KADYROVA

Galleria Continua is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Zhanna Kadyrova. The project comprises a series of new works specially designed for this exhibition, which revolve around the theme of home.

Its title, Mia casa, mia fortezza, (My home, my fortress) is the literal translation of a Russian proverb which expresses the concept of home as a safe place and as property.

Initially, Zhanna Kadyrova focussed on video and performance art, but over the past decade she has captured the attention of the public and critics through sculpture and installation. Despite her young age, the artist has already exhibited twice in the Ukrainian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and has also participated in the Kiev Biennale with a solo exhibition, establishing herself as leader of the younger generation of Ukrainian artists.

Kadyrova’s work moves styles and languages from one context to another, and questions the role of the spectator. The artist uses a variety of different materials to disturb our usual perception of the urban environment. Cement, concrete and tiles, the ones that still line the walls of buildings in Ukraine, are favoured by the artist, as they were by post-Soviet urban planning to remedy construction defects, calculation errors or technological shortcomings. Incorporating all the energy of “low”, bright and sparkling popular culture, the tile is the material used for Zhanna Kadyrova’s mosaics: shattered objects and sculptures, uncertain and transitory, full of nostalgia, call to mind the frailty of fame, ideologies and worldly riches. “I took a material related to Ukrainian history. Ceramic was very popular in public spaces. You would find it everywhere, including bathrooms, in the form of mosaics... it was also a way to break with academic codes. I studied at the Department of Sculpture.