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.