Nastia Didenko

3 September 2021

Nastia Didenko was born in 1994 in Kyiv. In 2017 she graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, Faculty of Painting. Since 2016 she has been a participant and co-founder of artist-run space Khliebzavod. In 2016 she started working as a food and fine art photographer, which influenced her subsequent creative activity.

In her artistic practice, she works with the conflicts that arise when attempting to earn money and the reflections on self-deception in individual activities and on rethinking post-Soviet injuries. She works with media such as painting, installation, photography, and video. She lives and works in Kyiv.

Bad Omen
Broken but fit
Wood, ceramics, mixed media, 125 x 95 cm, 2021

For the bad luck?
Wood, ceramic, mixed media, 125 x 135 cm, 2021

Bad omen
Photography, print on banner, 100 x 66 cm – 6 pieces, 205 x 135 – 1 piece, 2021

No title
Ceramics, 40 x 50 cm, 2021

This project is a visual representation of well-known superstitions and prejudices related to broken and shattered things. Probably everyone has received from their grandmother not only a salad plate in the shape of fish but also a slew of other signs and omens that are worked out to the unconscious automatism. Something like, “Don’t look in the broken mirror”; “Don’t keep broken things, because fate will be shattered”; “Look in the mirror when you come home because you forgot something” and so on. Such statements are familiar and inconspicuous in character. Such irrationalisms, which take the form of attachment states and neuroses, are intended to protect against disaster and are an attempt to master the uncontrollable, independent of human action processes. What are these signs, that are like a not-ingrained collective obsessive-compulsive disorder? The level of emotional tension that arises as a result of attempts to control the situation, works in the opposite direction: the more prejudices a person uses, the greater the need to use them.

The project’s objects represent certain signs and circumstances which they should prevent, as they are those shattered items that must not be stored. In this way, the artist attempts, albeit not without fear, to break free from the imposed and unhealthy way of dealing with the surrounding reality and personal experience.