Catinca Tabacaru Gallery presents State of Emergence

Alaa Mansour, “Dreaming of the End and the Ultimate Triumph,” 2023, Video still
Alaa Mansour, “Dreaming of the End and the Ultimate Triumph,” 2023, Video still

NADA East Broadway is pleased to host State of Emergence, a group exhibition of works by 20 Ukrainian and international artists curated by Lesia Kulchynska and Catinca Tabacaru. The exhibition is organized in partnership with the Ukrainian Institute and will be on view October 21st through December 10th, 2023.

Join us for the opening reception this Friday, October 20th from 6–9pm.

Starting from the Russo-Ukrainian war, curators Lesia Kulchynska and Catinca Tabacaru focus on ongoing emergencies around the globe and their possible techno-driven futures, proposing the consideration of empowering alliances between those who have lived through, or are still living in, these states. The exhibition places artists from Europe, Lebanon, Suriname, the United States, and Zimbabwe in conversation with Ukrainian artists.

State of Emergence welcomes viewers with the presence of strange and dangerous creatures: the Dancing Rubble by Slinko personifies in absurdity the destruction of war; while The Siren, a painting by Nikita Kadan reverberates with the seduction of death. As an audience, we try to adapt to their eerie presence despite having no reasons to trust or understand them. Looking at the dead ends of hope, the artists call in the liberating overtones of gloom.

Alaa Mansour explores AI’s hallucinations of digital domination, while the art streaming collective UKRAïNATV invites viewers to surrender to the intoxicating messiness of being together in the digital trenches of the ongoing cyberwar. UkraЇnaTV creates a hybrid virtual-physical space that allows for chance encounters between visitors to the exhibition and guests at their studios in Krakow and Kyiv.

Maria Kulikovska and Ksenia Hnylytska reflect on their war-induced nomadism: strangers cut off from their endangered or destroyed homes who are learning to become their own islands. Will these islands form new archipelagos? Through the archeology of images and matter, Terrence Musekiwa and Xavier Robles de Medina find a way to reassemble colonial subjectivities into incommensurable heterogenous agency. All this takes place under the stunning and bizarre synthetic sunset of Lesia Vasylchenko, raising questions on the predictability of our future.

This New York chapter of State of Emergence is the third in an ongoing collaboration between Kulchynska and Tabacaru. It started with an exhibition of Ukrainian artists in the Catinca Tabacaru Gallery’s Bucharest space, which opened exactly 50 days after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Chapter One brought together thirteen artists, eight of whom were still living in Ukraine on the day the exhibition opened. The works were first impressions, filled with emotion, danger, and short-term coping mechanisms. The exhibition brought forth reflections on the emergence of a new reality and subjectivity amid the State of Emergency. Later that year, Chapter Two was mounted at Sandwich Gallery in Bucharest as an exploration and rediscovery by five artists of their personal and shared histories erased by Russia’s colonial violence over the past centuries.

State of Emergence is organized under the Ukrainian Institute’s Visualize program, standing as a testament to resilience in the face of challenging times. Anastasiia Manuliak, Head of Visual Art for the Ukrainian Institute states, “By featuring works from Ukrainian artists alongside established artists of Ukrainian origin and renowned international artists, we hope to bring Ukrainian perspectives on global issues and challenges to the forefront. This inclusion of Ukrainian discourse in the vibrant art scene of New York City is an exciting opportunity to contribute to the artistic dialogue on a global scale.”

Alaa Mansour
Anatoliy Belov
Borys Kashapov
Katia Lesiv
Katia Lysovenko
Katya Grokhovsky
Ksenia Hnylytska
Lesia Vasylchenko
Luba Drozd
Maria Kulikovska
Nikita Kadan
Nona Inescu
Oksana Kazmina
Palliative Turn
Rachel Monosov
Terrence Musekiwa
Yulia Krivich
Xavier Robles de Medina