Jan Bačynsjkyj / Yana Bachynska

(b. 1991, lived in Lviv, currently living in various artistic residencies in Europe) graduated in Philosophy from the Kyiv National University and in Multimedia from the Academy of Fine Arts in Szczecin. They work with multiple media, mainly performance and video, often using public space, exploring the topics of memory and historical politics, as well as issues of sexual and gender identity. They are interested in social utopias and expanding the field of freedom for individuals.

My Grandfather’s Skin, 2020, video, 4’45’’, courtesy of the artist

The work was created after the death of the artist’s grandfather, a distinguished citizen of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. His individual biography, family messages, and mementos were used for a performative confrontation with the collective patriarchal heritage of post-Soviet culture. Struggling with the role of a grandfather, the non-binary performer takes the contested but close legacy into a new, shared future in which opposing qualities are combined.

I’m Sick and Tired of You, 2018, video, 5’5’’, courtesy of the artist

The video records the artist’s on-camera performance in Szczecin, consisting of a silent and unequal confrontation with local monuments. The recording focuses on the contrast between the childish outfit and the fragility of the performer’s petite body on the one hand and the monumental scale and militarized, patriarchal-national meaning of the monuments on the other.

90 Days of War, 2022, video, 15’53’’, courtesy of the artist

The footage for the film was shot during the artist’s visit to his hometown of Lviv, on the ninetieth day of the war in Ukraine. Jan Bačynsjkyj/Yana Bachynska then met with their friends and asked about their experiences of living in a relatively safe city during the Russian aggression. In the conversation, there is space for reports about non-heroic everyday life, emotions, and topics sidelined by media messages of war.


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