The Carré d’Art presents a collective exhibition of Ukrainian photographers. Four photographers with different practices, four looks at Ukraine before February 2022: Maxim Dondyuk – Oksana Nevmerzhytska – Elena Subach – Daria Svertilova.
This exhibition was designed with the help of Kateryna Radchenko, director and curator of the Odesa Photo Days festival.
Odesa Photo Days is an international festival of contemporary photography based in Ukraine as well as an educational platform. It brings Ukrainian photography to the forefront and creates links between artists, curators and researchers from all over the world.
The eighth edition of the festival was to take place in Odessa in May 2022. Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022 changed everything. From now on, Kateryna Radchenko and the festival team are working to relay the situation in Ukraine throughout the world and to support documentary photographers and artist-photographers affected by the war.
Maxim Dondyuk – Between Life and Death
Maxim Dondyuk left for the Donbass in 2014 to document the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia. He spent two weeks with a pro-Russian armed group and then two weeks alongside the Ukrainian army.
During calmer periods, he photographed the desolate landscapes of the Donbass and accompanies them with texts by Lao Tseu, this was the beginning of his Between Life and Death series. In 2017, he returned there and explored the silent and ravaged landscapes which were then battlefields.
Born in 1983 in Slavouta, Maxim Dondyuk lives and works in Kyiv.
He is the winner of the Polka Prize for the best photographer of the year 2022 (December 2022).
Daria Svertilova – Temporary Homes
Dormitories are the only types of social housing that currently exist in Ukraine. They were built in Soviet times, but the buildings and living conditions haven’t changed much since then, unlike Ukraine and its people.
In this project, the photographer explores the confrontation between the Soviet heritage and the new pro-Western generation. The abundance in different rooms hide in seemingly cold air and identical buildings, where Soviet interiors coexist with unique personal effects and drawings and posters of each student. Neither a family home nor a rental apartment, the dormitories are a kind of cocoon, a place of transition from adolescence to adult life.
Born in 1996 in Odessa, Daria Svertilova lives and works between kyiv, Odessa and Paris.
Elena Subach – Meteorite Berdychiv
The imaginary of the apocalypse is omnipresent in the work of Elena Subach. She finds her inspiration in different anecdotes about her home province in Ukraine. From different stories, the artist builds a series around the universe of meteorites and the end of the world. It represents the restlessness and state of mind of the inhabitants of this region.
Born in 1980 in Chervonorhad, Elena Subach began her career as a textile designer in kyiv. It was not until 2012 that she became interested in photography. This then became a medium for making hidden realities speak.
Oksana Nevmerzhytska – Hospital lost in time
Young photographer living in kyiv, Oksana Nevmerzhytska finished her studies in 2019.
The photographer denounces here the completely abandoned Ukrainian health system. The images are recent, taken in hospitals in small towns around the capital of Ukraine and yet time has stopped thirty years ago. The walls are decrepit, the colors garish and the equipment dilapidated.
This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Diagonal network and as part of [Stand with Ukraine], a program of events and exhibitions produced in association with the Odesa Photo Days festival, in support of contemporary photographic creation.
With the support of the Ministry of Culture, the French Institute, SAIF and ADAGP.
The curatorship, co-production and circulation of this exhibition have been developed from the last three editions of the festival, by the Pôle de Photographie Stimultania in Strasbourg (exhibition from May 13 to September 17, 2022), the Carré d’Art in Chartres in Bretagne (exhibition from January 20 to March 4, 2023) and the Claude Cahun Center in Nantes (exhibition in May-June 2023).
Parle-leur de batailles, de météores et de caviar d’aubergine
du 20 janvier au 5 mars 2023
Galerie Le Carré d’Art
Centre culturel Pôle Sud
1 Rue de la Conterie
35131 Chartres-de-Bretagne, France