Coexisting with DarknessExhibitions

Coexisting with Darkness

Coexisting with Darkness
Мистецький Арсенал
вул. Лаврська, 10-12
Київ, Київська область 01010

In October 2022, Russia began to systemically target the objects of the Ukrainian critical infrastructure, disrupting the supply of electricity, water, heat, and telecommunication. Missiles and UAV strikes led to the introduction of rolling blackouts, causing cities and villages to be periodically engulfed in darkness. ‘Energy terrorism’ tactics aimed to disrupt Ukraine’s ‘mental infrastructure’: to break people’s faith in their own strength and their trust in government.

In reaction to the disruption, the government introduced ‘Points of Invincibility’ in every oblast, while Ukrainians started buying power banks, chargers, and generators. These low-level infrastructure solutions joined together into the hum of generators and the smell of gas, likened Ukrainian cities to those of Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Kenya, Afghanistan, and South Africa. The fragile infrastructure was supported by joint efforts, sending impulses to one another by the networks of cables and wires. Meanwhile, cafés and flats turned into alternative ‘Points of Invincibility’ — beacons for blackout wanderers.

Art that sought to reflect upon social changes, itself became engulfed in the darkness, and forced to reinvent itself as a means to organize an independent world of living. Habitable spaces shrinking down to the ‘Points of Invincibility’ actualized Fedir Tetyanych’s dream of autonomous living space, a biotechnosphere, capable of standing against the cold cosmos. The sphere transforms from a particular engineering structure into a social formation. Cafés, neighbors’ houses, friends, and offices that supplied themselves with generators and Starlinks (or solved the telecommunication problem by any other means), form utopian infrastructural hubs. Art objects too became inevitably connected to the ‘endless body’ of communications. Thus, this exhibition is dedicated to highlighting the strategies, dependencies, and weaknesses in their ways of coexisting with the darkness in times of total uncertainty.

The newly created improvised infrastructure of private ‘Points of Invincibility – biotechnospheres’ propagated via uncontrollable streams of cables. Wandering along their routes, one could take in the multi-faceted vastness of human activity. One could find there the art objects too, hidden somewhere among the embraces of wires, clustered around emanating sources of light and energy. But what should art be to avoid vanishing in the darkness? This existential tension once again underscores the importance of communal infrastructure and solidarity ethics. Instead of crying into the darkness the questions of the meaning of new sufferings, the artists answer by inventing the light inside themselves and the community around.

❗️The exhibition contains installations with a high-level sensory load.

The exhibition will last until March 31, 2024.
Working hours: Wednesday-Sunday, from 12:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
The opening of the exhibition will take place on November 9 at 6:30 PM. On the opening day, the exhibition will be open from 6 PM to 9 PM


  • Curatorial group
    Anton Usanov
    Natasha Chychasova


    Tereza Barabash
    Sergiy Petlyuk
    Dasha Podoltseva and Alexey Shmurak
    Anton Saienko
    Ivan Svitlychnyi
    Fedir Tetyanych
    Maksym Khodak
    Tereza Yakovyna
    Photinus studio

  • Project manager
    Anastasiia Garazd


    Project coordinator
    Andrii Myroshnychenko


    Olga Zhuk


    Technical director
    Serhii Diptan


    Exhibition architecture
    Ivan Svitlychnyi


    Graphic design
    Kostyantyn Martsenkivskyi


    Educational program
    Hanna Klymenko
    Liana Komardenko
    Kateryna Makarova
    Olha Olkhovska

  • PR & communications
    Sophia Bela
    Oleksandra Havryliuk
    Oksana Matsiuk
    Oleksandr Popenko


    Text editing
    Oleksandr Stukalo


    Roman Hardashuk


    Special thanks to
    Bohdan-Liubomyr Tetyanych-Bublyk
    Galeria Arsenał w Białymstoku
    Asortymentna kimnata
    Jam Factory Art Center


    The exhibition was created in partnership with Art Arsenal Community NGO as part of the project funded by aid from the governments of Canada, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.