Contact Zones
Brave! Factory Festival, Kyivmetrobud, Kyiv, 2021

Anon Shebetko. Brave, series of video-portraits, 2022 (fimed during I’m not Dancing participatory performance, Brave! Factory, 2021)

AntiGonna, Volt Agapeev, Julia Beliaeva, Danylo Halkin, Vasya Dmitrik, Kateryna Lysovenko, Taras Kovach, Rita Kulik and Ivan Sai, Anton Shebetko, Variable Name, Andriy Siguntsov, Sasha Popruga, Oleksiy Sai. Curator: Maria Vtorushina. 

Art is a sparkling rivulet, running through the fractures of the capitalist world's tectonic plates. You can come to this spring every day, or you may never stumble upon it.  The experience of an accidental encounter lies at the heart of the Brave! Factory Festival 2021 exposition. Ukrainian artists AntiGonna, Volt Agapeev, Julia Beliaeva, Danylo Halkin, Vasya Dmitrik, Kateryna Lysovenko, Taras Kovach, Rita Kulik and Ivan Sai, Anton Shebetko, Andriy Siguntsov, Variable Name, Sasha Popruga, Oleksiy Sai integrate their works and practices in the space of the Kyiv Metrobud Factory, supported by Contact Zones project producers Veronika Shchukina and Daria Dryhola.‍ Artist’s statements reveal the subtle presence of ideas, strategies and hopes of the past (distant and near) in that single moment where you will meet them. Pandemic life is like a thin film on the water surface: between dreaming and reality, between total control over the individual and an attempt to maintain integrity and freedom. The contact zones appear as swell on the surface. It is caused by vibration from the touches between communities isolated from each other in space and time. 

Taras Kovach, Untitled, 2021

Researching the history of Kyiv Metrobud Factory, the artist reveals  moments of coexistence between rave culture and Post-Soviet productions, developing the topic of the artwork. Taras Kovach embraces the language of Soviet agitation, reproducing the marks of the labour medals, bestowed to Metrobud Factory employees. Orders and medals are an integral attribute of history, fixations of the significant events. The silhouettes of the awards, which were of great importance to those who worked here before, lose their meanings to those who are dancing here now. This is a continuation of the project, which started in 2016 within the frame of exhibition «De Ne De».

Taras Kovach, Untitled, 2021

Danylo Halkin. Trampoline for Social Critical Voyeurisme, interactive installation

Viewers are asked to think about whose fences they would like to look behind. A springboard (trampoline) is provided to help them. The springboard symbolizes a collision with the mechanisms of power and the accompanying traumatic experience. The exposition includes the imitation of PO-2 slabs, made from foam rubber. They aesthetically reflect the concrete fences produced in the USSR. These custom-made soft pads also refer to the protective functions of soft walls in psychiatric hospitals.

Julia Beliaeva. Hotel Quarantine, 2020-2021. Music: Irina Novikova

In the past, animals have kept humanity alive. Will humanity keep animal lives in the future? For the art community, the quarantine in  2020-2021 was marked by dreams and delusions. Artists turned to the unconscious, taking the opportunity to be alone with their fantasies and work calmly. Julia Beliaeva has long been documenting her own childhood memories and dreams in 3D drawings and computer games. During quarantine, the artist often dreamed of traveling and staying in hotel-like spaces. The video is part of the "Blue Series" cycle, which embodies the journey into the unconscious and visualizes innermost desires and fears. This series is about travels without travels.

Julia Beliaeva, Hotel Quarantine, 2021, video. Photo: Mishka Bochkarev

Vasya Dmytryk & Sasha Popruga. Hypermobile, 2021. Kinetic Installation. Recycled plastic, metal

Hypermobiles are the series of dynamic sculptures, referring to the legacy of Alexander Calder. Hypermobile is also an open structure that absorbs and combines materials and impulses from the environment. In the factory space, the installation exists as a new form of moving non-organic object that grows out of industrial capacities.

Kateryna Lysovenko. Propaganda of My Dream World, diptych, 2021

Working with the monumental painting, which has historically been conceived as a media for the transmission of religious or ideological dogmas, Lysovenko emancipates this medium from the links with propaganda and moralizing. The artist reveals the world of her dreams instead—a myth, inhabited by the creatures, free from prejudices, conflicts, confrontations and rejections.

Kateryna Lysovenko. Propaganda of My Dream World, diptych, 2021

Valeriya Karpan & Marina Khrypun (Variable Name). Trust Room, 2021

In the Trust Room, everyone can сreate a comfortable private space. At the same time, viewers will be able to interact with the web-camera. The algorithm will change the observer’s image depending on the choreography of their movements. The interactive installation is created using the P5JS code dictionary developed on the basis of JavaScript. Interacting with the program, the viewer can respond to their own image using the camera and the TRUST program. The image is transformed, depending on the style of movement of the person. Faces and bodies will be transformed, as well as the memories of visitors, who, therefore will be able to retrace the events, trusting the memory of the machine.

Oleksiy  Sai, Advertising Break, 2021. Video, installation

The installation is a video- and audio- mix of all the commercials that Oleksiy Sai has ever directed. This is an unpacked archive from the parallel (to the artistic) world. Mixed, accelerated and meaningless video series marks a zone of protracted conflict between selling creative ideas as an opportunity to support the artistic practices and the imperative of “l’art pour I’art”. At the same time, it is a brief report for 15 years of artist’s life.

Oleksiy Sai, Advertising Break, 2021. Video, installation. Photo: Natalia Azarkina

Anton Shebetko I’m Not Dancing, 2021. Participatory performance, video

In 1997, Rineke Dijkstra made a series of one-minute video portraits of nightclubs visitors. She asked partygoers to express themselves on camera.  Most of them began to dance awkwardly, however relaxing after a few seconds. Considering  this work, Anton Shebetko turns this motive upside down. Instead of dancing in front of the camera, participants can simply look at the camera for one or two minutes. Not to dance, not to react to the provocations of external stimuli. Try to freeze, to stop. These short video-portraits will become the basis for a new art piece. 

Volt (Vitaly) Agapeev. Innerfield, 2021, digital art

Through the prism of such concepts as control, dark vitalism, contemporary mythology and sacredness Volt Agapeyev reveals how these processes transform the relations between human, technology and nature.  The site-specific project "Innerfield" touches on the themes of holism and interrelations of all living things. According to Aristotle, the one whole is greater than just the sum of its components. The intertwining and combination of things and phenomenons are reflected in language constructions, also included in the project.

Brave! Factory Festival, on the photo: Oleksiy Sai’s nstallation, Anti Gonna’s installation. Photo: Anna Azarkina

AntiGonna, Andriy Siguntsov, The Fountain Of Wet Desires, 2021. Video, installation

The idea of a source of eternal youth (a fountain of living water) has permeated the European painting since the medieval icons to the Art Nouveau panels. In 1917, Marcel Duchamp, who was bored with the plots depicting dreamy damsels,created the Fountain: his version of the source of joy, life and eternal youth. Fountain of Wet Desires by AntiGonna and Andriy Siguntsov is a construction that is designed to nourish the tabooed  and forbidden desires, to give them the right to life, which was impossible in the system of patriarchal society. Contact Zones. Art at the Factory. Author: Kseniya Ulianova