ARTIST BEHIND THE CERAMIC MATERIAL: “Second Hand” by Zhanna Kadyrova
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ARTIST BEHIND THE CERAMIC MATERIAL: “Second Hand” by Zhanna Kadyrova

I met Ukrainian based artist Kadyrova’s “Second Hand” project through the 58th International Venice Art Exhibition, titled May You Live In Interesting Times. “Second Hand” maybe the only artwork that is made out of ceramic material at the exhibition. Maybe I missed if there are others but this artwork is quite powerful and visible so. It turns dull, dead tiles into alive forms. On the other hand it shakes the past, removes the dust and reshapes the stable, concrete moments.

Multi-material sculptor Kadyrova’s project started on 2014 and I hope it is still ongoing. Here you can find some detailed information about 4 different places but same concept. https://www.kadyrova.com/second-hand-en

Second Hand by Kadyrova

Second Hand, The Kiev Film Copy Factory

The history of the building of the Kiev Film Copy Factory (KFCF), where the Film Handling Shopfloor run for more than 50 years, was the boon for creating a new series of “Second Hand” project.

The factory was the largest in the Soviet Union; it copied films for all Soviet republics excluding Russia, which had a similar factory on its territory. Nearby the factory “Svema”, which produced films for photos and movies, located in Kyiv and Shostka (since 1931), was the key for huge KFCF production. The films were imported to Kiev, and after that, the copies of films were distributed throughout the Soviet Union. The building was built before the war, and there was a school for a while. In 1948, the building was repaired after military damages and since 1949 the first Kiev Film Copy Factory started its work there. There were 13 buildings in factory heyday.

In the early 90s, after a dissolution of the USSR, the animation studio Borisfen-Lutes was founded by French investors. About four hundred and fifty people worked at the animation production in that building. Some cartoons of that studio won international awards. Unfortunately, Borisfen went defunct in the early 2000s. One theory was that Borisfen-Lutes management had transferred its outlets to China. In 2008, ten out of thirteen buildings together with the Film Handling Shopfloor were sold.

Kadyrova’s project was as a part of the festival Gogolfest-2017. The building of the Film Handling Shopfloor had the format “ARKsquat”, where the artists were working during two months. In a couple of months after the festival, the building was wrecked, and the newest residential, shopping and entertainment complex is slated in its place.


Second Hand, CHERNOBYL 2017

The dress for the mannequin is made of ceramic tiles, which had decorated the facade wall of the bus station in township Polesskoye. The ornament on the sculpture duplicates the ornament on the wall of the bus station.

Polesskoye is a former township in Chernobyl zone. Before 1993 it was the center of the Polesskoye district in Kyiv region. In 1993 the men and women were moved further out it because of the high-level radiation.

At the time of the Chernobyl accident (1986), the population of Polesskoye was eleven thousand and three hundred people. In 1999, it was officially removed from the settlement register.

To date, the level of radiation in Polesskoye returned to normal, and about ten squatters live there.


Second Hand, Kyiv 2015

Zhanna Kadyrova realized her serie of works on the territory of the Darnitski Silk Factory – Soviet era production giant. The objects of the project « Second Hand » are made of old tiles, used in the lining of the factory premises or stored on its territory. Kadyrova recreates in her works the ornaments still preserved on the factory walls. The exhibition  taked place in one of the former silk factory weaving workshops.

Now most of the buildings of the Darnitski Silk Factory (DSF) are used as commercial real estate, warehouses and shopping area. Little is reminiscent of the past of the manufacturing site, once one of the largest enterprises of light industry in the USSR. Built after the Second World War, the site produced in the 70s tens of millions meters of fabric, more than six thousand men worked in its three different factories.

In addition to the production of various tissues the site was supported by a 

strong social infrastructure, offering many working women amateur clubs, sport clubs, recreation centers and libraries. The  DSF contained its own greenhouse, in which all year long were grown flowers of different varieties. It turned out that the flowers were needed to encourage the collectivity, a majority of whom were women. Regarding the modern obsession of “efficiency” and “appropriateness of costs”, this approach can be surprising.

Referring to the contradictory past of one of the major industries in the territory of Kiev, the artist emphasizes the problematic nature of many aspects of the current situation. “We see that more warm, more human relations between people were not something completely foreign to the working space, as well as art,” – said Kadyrova.

The question is whether such relations belong to the past and what comes on their place.


Second Hand, Sao Paulo 2014

This work is created under the impression of common Brazilian practice of decorating walls with colored ceramic tiles. They are present on shops, cafés, houses and administrations facades. The Ukrainian climate makes the use of tiles for the decoration of the buildings impossible, as the winter frosts are destructive for them. In terms of forms the artist uses clothing, referring to the visual richness of the decor of Brazilian architecture.  This project was done with used tiles, produced approximately in the 70s of the last century, found by the artist in the shops selling second hand tiles.

Second Hand, detail
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