Exhibition «Self-portraits» by Alevtina Kakhidze at the Window Gallery | Sofia, Bulgaria

Опубликована: 21.02.2023

Shcherbenko Art Centre at the invitation of the Czech Center in Sofia presents the exhibition of performance artist Alevtina Kakhidze «Self-portraits» in the Window Gallery. The curator of the project is Maryna Shcherbenko.

The artist keeps a diary in which she expresses her unique narrative style by writing and drawing events, thoughts, and observations. Alevtina is always fragile, sensual and perceptive to even the minute details at works. Her little autobiographies reveal to us the depth of the dreadful catastrophe currently occurring in Ukraine, both with light, nuanced irony and with the horrible truth. Everything seems so straightforward and obvious: that it is natural to want to live a happy, meaningful life, and that it is currently unavailable to Ukrainians due to the war.

Alevtina Kakhidze paints herself during the full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022 of the Russian-Ukrainian war, which has been ongoing since 2014. Her paintings are amusing. When the international media deemed February 16 as the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, she painted herself with three signs: war, no war, and snow. When the invasion took place on February 24, she drew herself in discussion with Immanuel Kant, who wrote a treatise Perpetual Peace: «See this hallucination?!» And on her birthday, which she celebrated in the basement of her house, shielding herself from the gunfire, she pictured them giving her a joyful salute!

During the siege of Mariupol, a city in eastern Ukraine that is currently being occupied, she paints herself in a nightmare where a Westerner agrees that he is tired of this war and would not mind if all Ukrainians were slaughtered. At that time, Ukraine needed powerful weaponry to defend itself, but Western allies were hesitant to provide it. Kakhidze imagines herself having a conversation with Olaf Scholz, arguing with him about his statement that this is Putin’s war, not the Russians. In addition to what the German Prime Minister said, Alevtina adds: «in this case, Russians are like my pets: chickens, turtles, dogs, cats and aquarium fish, which I have to take care of, they have no right to choose, because they depend on me!»

More than 11 months have passed since Russia has begun its war against the Ukrainian people. The anguish of the civilian population, the terror and despair, the losses, and the wanderings all occurred throughout the eleven months of a nasty, ungoverned Russian war. Because vital infrastructure is continually being shelled, over 50% of the country’s land still lacks access to electricity, water, and gas. There is no safe place, because a terrorist country hunts and kills Ukrainians. We have no right to lose in our struggle for survival.

From the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Czech Centre Sofia has expressed support for the cultural community and all the people of Ukraine. On May 12, the banner with words of support for the Ukrainian people was ripped down by vandals from the Centre’s window, which was the catalyst for the idea of opening a new ‘Window Gallery’.

The exhibition opening will take a place on February 24, 2022, at 1 pm. By the address: Czech Centre in Sofia, Rakovski str., 100, Sofia, 1000

Alevtina Kakhidze
Born 1973 in Zhdanovka, Donetsk region, USSR Based in Muzychi, Ukraine, 26 kilometers from the city capital of Kyiv. Having grown up in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, known for coal mining, she has experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic changes from the days of the USSR to the imbalanced environment after, including undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine that it is going on today. Alevtina Kakhidze attended the National Academy of Fine Art and Architecture in Kyiv (1999-2004) and the Jan van Eyck Academy in the Netherlands (2004-2006). She is United Nations Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine since 2018, the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award winner in 2008, first prizewinner of the Competition for Young Curators and Artists, Kyiv, Center for Contemporary Art at NaUKMA in 2002.

Shcherbenko Art Centre
Created by Ukrainian curator Maryna Shcherbenko. The aim of the centre is to create opportunities for dialogue between the art world and a broad audience. Shcherbenko Art Centre arranges the exhibitions and works as a venue for lectures, panel discussions, workshops with leading masters of contemporary art in Ukraine and other countries.

Czech Centre in Sofia
The Czech Centre in Sofia is the oldest Czech culture institution abroad and is also one of the longest-running foreign cultural organizations in Bulgaria. Its history dates back to 1949, where from the very beginning it is located at the same address — Rakovski 100. The Czech Centres are a contributory organization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic. They are an integral part of Czech foreign policy and a key cultural diplomacy tool. They operate within the public diplomacy domain, whose mission is to promote and support the good reputation of the Czech Republic abroad and to strengthen cultural relations between countries.

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