(b. 1981, lived in Kyiv, currently living in the village of Berezovo) is a graduate of the Faculty of Sculpture of the Taras Shevchenko National Academy of Fine Arts in Kyiv. Member of the Kyiv art collective R.E.P. Her primary medium is sculpture, but she also works with video, drawing, painting, and performance. Kadyrova explores the scenery and material fabric of public spaces and social processes. She enters into a dialogue with selected places and phenomena through the selection and processing of commonly used materials that are significant for her (such as bitumen, glaze, or stone). Her interventions question the utilitarian rationality of materials and objects that make up modern infrastructure, discovering their other, symbolic or unconscious uses. Before the war in Ukraine, the artist worked mainly in the context of the city, now her work environment is the village of Berezovo in Transcarpathia, where she found a temporary shelter.
Palianytsia, 2022, installation, stone, fabric, courtesy of the artist and the Continua gallery
collaboration: Denis Ruban, film: Ivan Sautkin
Photo: Natalka Diachenko
“Palianytsia” is a term for a wholemeal, round bread popular in Ukraine. Due to the fact that the Russian occupiers cannot pronounce the name correctly, it became a catchword for Ukrainians opposing the Russian aggression. Zhanna Kadyrova took up the theme of bread as an everyday symbol of resistance in her search for a safe space to live and work in the village of Berezovo in Transcarpathia. Getting to know the area, she started collecting stones polished by the river current. Then, with the help of Denis Ruban, she produced a series of objects imitating the palianytsia bread and organized an exhibition to which she invited her neighbours from the village. Working on the project turned out to be a way for her and her partner to survive the difficult times. It also allowed them to support victims of the war through proceeds from international sales and exhibitions. Ivan Sautkin’s film documents the process of creating work and, at the same time, of building social relations through it.