Ukrainian artists: Zhanna Kadyrova at the Venice Biennale
“During the first two weeks of the war, I had the impression that art was only a dream, that I had only dreamed these twenty years of my professional life. And that art at all is powerless and ephemeral compared to the ruthless machinery of war that destroys civilian cities and human lives. Today I don’t think that way anymore, and I see that every artistic gesture makes us visible, and our voices audible.” - Zhanna Kadyrova
After fleeing from Kyiv and finding shelter in the Transcarpathian region in the west of Ukraine, Kadyrova and her co-author Denis Ruban gave life to this project to support people in need and a number of volunteer organisations in Kharkiv and Mariupol.
This installation features bread sculptures which Kadyrova carved out of river stones. It appears that Russian invaders cannot pronounce palianytsia (a traditional type of oven-baked bread) so the word has become a shibboleth among Ukrainians. Kadyrova's stone bread loaves thus not only represent a universal source of life, but they also act as a symbol of solidarity and resistance.
The artist and the gallery representing her, Gallleria Continua, will be donating all proceeds to Ukrainian relief.
© Zhanna Kadyrova