From May 25, 2024, to February 28, 2025, the Past / Future / Art memory culture platform and Odesa National Fine Arts Museum present Alevtina Kakhidze’s project entitled Dad, I’m in Odesa! Through the lens of her family’s story, the artist explains how empires affected multiple generations of a family throughout the last century—from the USSR era to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Dad, I’m in Odesa! is Alevtina Kakhidze’s first solo exhibition in Odesa. It comprises All Good?, a film she co-authored with the artist Roman Khimey, and an art installation with archival photos, objects from her family’s collection, drawings, and herbaria.

The exhibition is part of an ongoing decolonization-themed collaboration between Alevtina Kakhidze and curators Kateryna Semenyuk and Oksana Dovgopolova. In 2024, they presented two interrelated projects — From South to North in the Ukrainian Pavilion of the Malta Biennale maltabiennale.art and the exhibition Dad, I’m in Odesa! in ONFAM.

About the project

Alevtina Kakhidze reflects on the problems of decolonization and the destiny of Ukraine and Georgia through the personal life choices of her family members in the 20th and 21st centuries: from the Holodomor, which drove her kin from their home in Vinnytsia Region to resettle in Donbas, through World War II, Russian aggression against Georgia of 2008 and the Russian aggression against Ukraine in 2014 and all the way to the shelling of Pokrovsk in January 2024, among the victims of which were her immediate family members.

Odesa is particularly significant to the artist as the city where her parents first met. Alevtina’s mother came there from Donbas because she always wanted to live by the sea, and her father from Georgia to study at the Odesa Maritime Academy. Later, Alevtina’s mother returned to Zhdanivka, and her father to Batumi. In her film All Good?  shot in Odesa in early 2024, the artist takes her long-deceased father on a tour around the city. “It’s all because of the sea,” she repeats throughout the film, connecting the narrative of her personal story with the history of nations.

Dad, I’m in Odesa! establishes a space for dialogue between multiple layers of historical time, the past and the present, where the mirror of the Russia-Ukraine war suddenly reflects what was not evident 20, 40, or 80 years ago,” exhibition curators Oksana Dovgopolova and Kateryna Semenyuk say. “Why do the daughter and her father have to meet in Odesa today? She feels he must know what he didn’t live to see. He didn’t get to witness how Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and later Ukraine. He couldn’t have known that her mother would die in 2019 at a checkpoint between Ukrainian-controlled and Russian-occupied territories. He couldn’t have known that the people of Odesa would speak Ukrainian nowadays. Her personal story reveals what one can never see in a history textbook: How the relations between the two colonized peoples and an empire cast bizarre shadows on the destinies of individuals. The story of one family remarkably mirrors the 20th- and 21st-century history and the things the empire did and still does to those it happens to control.”

All Good?
2024, video, 20’
Video performance based on real events

Concept and Screenplay Alevtina Kakhidze
Filming, Staging, Editing Roman Khimei
Sound Director Pavlo Litovkin
Colorist Vadim Khudoliy
Choreographer Kristina Shyshkarova
Costume — GA.EVA

Special thanks to
PJSC “Stalkanat”, Odesa National Maritime Academy, Odesa National Fine Arts Museum, Museum of Odesa Modern Art, Kateryna Khimei, Diana Khalilova, Iryna Semenyuk, Oleksandr Semenyuk, Kabduhaly Sidekov, Nataliia Koval, Ilaria Sobolevska, Kateryna Iholkina, Oksana Dovhopolova, Kateryna Semenyuk, Kseniia Paltsun, Volodymyr Damaskin, Oleksandra Shevtsova, Oleksii Voronko, Anna Rybak, Otar Karalashvili.

 

Artist

Alevtina Kakhidze (b. 1973) is a multidisciplinary artist working in the fields of performance, drawing, time-based media, curatorship, and collaborative art with a focus on consumerism, plant culture, feminism, and life in conflict zones. Raised in the Donetsk Region and now based outside of Kyiv in the village of Muzychi, Kakhidze has become one of the most prominent artists working in Ukraine today. Her works have been included in the collections of the Tate Modern, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp – M HKA, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, SCHUNCK Museum, Art Collection Telekom, the National Art Museum of Ukraine, and others. Among the events she has participated in are EuroFestival in Liverpool (2023), Manifesta 14 (2022), Manifesta 10 (2014), the 7th Berlin Biennale (2012), and more. She has also collaborated with Albertinum, Centre Pompidou, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Whitechapel Gallery and others.

 

Curators

Kateryna Semenyuk and Oksana Dovgopolova are the co-founders of the Past / Future / Art memory culture platform. Kateryna Semenyuk has been a curator and manager in the art scene since 2010, focusing on an artistic approach to collective memory. Oksana Dovgopolova has a PhD in Memory Studies and combines her academic background with curatorial practice.

 

Organizers

Past / Future / Art is a memory culture platform established by the Cultural Practices NGO in Odesa, Ukraine, in 2019. It focuses on memorial, research, and art projects and develops strategies for commemorating significant phenomena of Ukrainian history, initiating public discussions to engage broader audiences in working through the past. Starting with February 24, 2022, when Russia’s full-scale invasion began, the project shifted its focus to commemorating the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

Opened in 1899, the Odesa National Fine Arts Museum (ONFAM) over the past decade has become one of Ukraine’s most dynamic art institutions. The museum systematically tackles the topic of working through the past and organizes exhibitions, screenings, and educational programs dealing with the complexities of Ukrainian history. Amid Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, ONFAM is promoting and preserving its collection, and continues its exhibition, research, and educational activities.

The exhibition Dad, I’m in Odesa! is supported by the Partnership Fund for a Resilient Ukraine (PFRU), funded by aid from the governments of Canada, Estonia, Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Fund unites the Government of Ukraine with its closest international government partners to deliver projects in primarily liberated and frontline communities that strengthen Ukraine’s resilience against Russia’s war of aggression. PFRU aims to strengthen the Ukrainian government’s capacity and resilience to deliver essential support to local communities in collaboration with civil society, media, and the private sector.

DAD, I’M IN ODESA!

Dates
May 25, 2024–February 28, 2025

Address
Odesa National Fine Arts Museum
5a, Sofiivska St, Odesa, Ukraine

Opening times
Wed.–Sun.
12:00 AM–07:00 PM

Admission
₴150/75