8 November 2022


Mykola Ridnyi, Grey Horses, film still, 2016 Mykola Ridnyi, Grey Horses, film still, 2016

“I want to say something about this situation without repeating the violence”, says Mykola Ridnyi – Ukrainian multi-media artist, who dedicated much of his artistic research to the question of how and how not to  respond and represent images of conflicts. Carefully, his films, installations and public art works address states and histories of violence – especially the Russian war against Ukraine – through poetic moving images, fictional narratives or non-linear montages. His works were shown in various international exhibitions, such as at La Biennale di Venezia, Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, daad galerie Berlin, Transmediale in Berlin, ZKM Karlsruhe, Museum for Modern Art in Warsaw and Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm. In April and May 2022, Mykola and I had two video calls between Berlin and Ukraine, followed by jointly editing the interview according to the situation of his country and his hometown Kharkiv. As opposed to Springtime, when Mykola had to find shelter in Lviv and could not leave the country, he is now able to travel to his exhibitions and currently spends a residency at the Quadriennale di Roma in Italy. In our conversation, we spoke about his theory that relates the science of vision to the perception of war, about how media enforces a voyeuristic addiction to images of violence and about the current situation for Ukrainian artists.

26 September 2022


Diego Marcon, The Parents’ Room, 2021 Digital video transferred from 35mm film, CGI animation, color, sound, loop of 6’23’’ Film frame © Diego Marcon. Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London

Diego Marcon, "The Parents’ Room", 2021 / Digital video transferred from 35mm film, CGI animation, color, sound, loop of 6’23’’ / Film frame © Diego Marcon. Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London

Diego Marcon (*1985) is an artist and filmmaker based in Milan. His work ranges from short camera-less animations such as Untitled (Head falling 01, 02, 03, 04, 05) (2015) and immersive sound pieces such as ToonsTunes (Four Pathetic Movements) (2016), to larger productions involving entire production teams such as Monelle (2017) set in Casa del Fascio by Terragni in Como. His film The Parents’ Room (2021) is currently shown in “The Milk of Dreams”, the main exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale curated by Cecilia Alemani. Taking the form of a musical, Marcon’s film tells the story of a man who killed his wife and two children before committing suicide. Watching it in the context of an exhibition, which has a clear focus on female and gender non-binary artists, I could not help thinking of it as marking an end point for nuclear family structures. Diego Marcon prefers to keep a distance to interpretation. Instead, we talked about the refusal to persuade, power systems, the beauty of the collective and possibilities of transformation for those still living.

10 September 2022


Studio Cornelia Baltes, Photo credit: Cornelia Baltes

A bold and strong palette marks the surfaces of Cornelia Baltes’ large paintings: The German artist and London Slade School alumni perfectionated the play between abstract and figurative motifs on intense colour fields. Gradients, spray colours and fine brushstrokes are applied in thin layers. A shape that we may recognise on the canvases could be a peach or a bottom, or perhaps a set of eyes – these forever undefined “characters”, as Baltes refers to her paintings, convey joyfulness and humour. While preparing her solo exhibition “Waggle Dance” at Galerie Rodolphe Janssen in Brussels, we met in her Berlin studio to talk about how she defines titles for her works, about paintings as theatrical objects and about archives of ideas.