Talking About Myself? Talking About You
«Talking About Myself? Talking About You» is a video exhibition and screening program curated by Mykola Ridnyi and presented in Voloshyn gallery in Kyiv, DAAD gallery in Berlin, Stadtkino in Vienna.
Participating artists: Kateryna Vishneva, Open Group, Sashko Protyah, Dasha Chechushkova, Kamila Yanar.
In the context of war, the notion of human experience becomes identical with the notion of trauma. It is routinely said that a collective trauma is made up of personal stories. But does this really work this way? Media representation of war can crowd out memories of things seen with one’s own eyes. Dramatic and tragic but above all visually striking images of explosions, ruins, killed people create a canonical way of documenting war as a catastrophe. This collective catastrophe often renders personal trials invisible and indistinguishable.
The video program Talking about Myself? Talking about You aims to represent the process of performing trauma as an artistic method. Instead of documenting the war, the artists included in the selection use performative actions to reflect upon their own experiences or experiences of their friends and acquaintances. These actions are not a journalist commentary attached to reality; they are at the same time a part of this reality, a way to endure it, and an alternative historical document for the future. The coordinate system within which war is experienced comprises time and space. War divides territories and relationships. This particular war has also divided our time into before and after February 24, 2022. It deferred the future (in the sense of planning and logistics) and erased the past (in the sense of values and priorities). Does this situation leave a room for personal feelings? Can they be heard if they fail to resonate with collective experience? Performing trauma often means re-living it, repeating the experience, which may hurt the artist and trigger the viewer. But is this not the way to overcome pain that people hold within and fruitlessly try to suppress?
DAAD gallery Berlin / Eunice Maurice
Voloshyn gallery Kyiv