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Grossling Bath Bratislava, Slovakia. 2020

Zhanna Kadyrova and Jiří Kovanda
(Almost) Involuntary Sculptures
Curated by Elena Sorokina
9 Dec 2020 – 6 May 2021


SRZ, Odessa, Ukraine. 2020


Venice Biennale. 2019

A new chapter in the Second Hand series was accomplished within the framework of the 58th Venice Biennale, directly on the spot, and made of Venetian materials. The works were part of the main curatorial project at the central pavilion in Giardini. The tile garments were exhibited in a non-traditional way – outside the venue, so that viewers were able to see the sculptures from a window of the pavilion as well as from the street. They looked like washed clothes hung to dry on a clothesline, which is very common

in Venice. The artist used ceramic tiles from the 1970s found in the rooms of the Al Angelo hotel, located near St. Mark's Square. For many years, the hotel was popular among artists who participated and visited Venice Biennale. They often paid for the rooms with their artworks, so the owner has put together a fine collection of Italian art. Now the hotel has passed into ownership from father to son. Kadyrova managed to get the old tiles from rooms being renovated before the new tourist season.


Cuba, Havana. 2019



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.



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.


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.



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

© Тексты о работах: Олена Червонык, Виталий Атанасов

© Дизайн: Денис Рубан 

© Переводы: Лариса Бабий,

Екатерина Кочеткова, Марьяна Матвейчук,

Куролай Абдухаликова

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