What Matters – Closing Event
During the closing event of the What Matters work presentations, the JUNGE AKADEMIE is hosting a programme of screenings, sound works, audio plays and talks with the artists in the exhibition. The evening is divided into two parts: It begins with the audio play APOLOGY in the exhibition, followed by a screening of the films NO! NO! NO! and Sisters as well as the audio play Alarming Symphony. In a discussion, the Ukranian artists Mykola Rydnyi, Anna Scherbyna and Valentina Petrova talk about their artistic practice and the effects of the war, as well as ways of resisting Russian war propaganda. While Russia’s rhetoric claims a “denazification” of Ukraine, the country’s art and activism speak for a democratic nation in which freedom of expression is possible and diverse ideological groups can coexist.
Audio play: APOLOGY
In the first half of the evening, starting at 7 pm, performing arts fellow Nazanin Noori presents her audio play APOLOGY in full length for the first time. The poetic drama, a grotesque analysis of Socrates’ defence speech in Plato’s Apology of Socrates, is set in the ruins of an amusement park in Christian limbo. The protagonists await the verdict from a court of the dead and are accompanied by a female commentator, drums and the song of God’s voice. Visitors are invited to experience the audio play on-site against the stage space backdrop Noori developed for the exhibition hall.
Films and talk: NO! NO! NO!, Sisters & Alarming Symphony
Russia began its war of aggression on Ukraine on 24 February 2022. Ukrainian fellows Sasha Kurmaz and Mykola Rydnyi, represented in the exhibition What Matters with videos and installations, were unable to travel to attend the opening on 12 March. During the second half of the closing event, starting at 8 pm, Mykola Rydnyi (online) with Valentina Petrova and Anna Scherbyna will present the films NO! NO! NO! (2017) and Sisters (2019), followed by discussions. The artists belong to Armed & Dangerous, an activist group that, since 2017, has been bringing together Ukrainian artists whose works tread the boundary between contemporary art and experimental cinema. They focus particularly on phenomena of everyday violence and the militarisation of society, which has escalated since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.
The heroes of Mykola Rydnyi’s film NO! NO! NO! (2017) are young people from Kharkiv in Eastern Ukraine. An LGBTQI activist and poet, a model, a group of street artists, a computer game developer – the protagonists are in their early 20s when the War in Donbas breaks out in 2014.
Sisters (2019) by Anna Scherbyna and Valentina Petrova satirises the Ukrainian anti-feminist “Sisterhood of Saint Olga”. The film analyses and reflects on the portrayal of an anti-feminist activist and her hidden aspirations for emancipation and power.
Also shown is Sasha Kurmaz’s sound work Alarming Symphony (5 min.), which he developed during his stay in Berlin in 2021. The artist reflects on a ubiquitous state of fear, tension, and turbulence in this piece. The work is composed of sounds recorded from seven different alarm detectors set in various towns in Ukraine.
In conversation, Mykola Rydnyi (online), Anna Scherbyna and Valentina Petrova discuss their artistic practices, the rationale and effects of the war, and possibilities to oppose Russian war propaganda. While Russia’s rhetoric claims a “denazification” of Ukraine, the country’s art and activism speak for a democratic nation in which freedom of expression is possible and diverse ideological groups can coexist.
The exhibition is open until 10:30 pm on the closing event evening.