Nikita Shalenny (Ukraine)

About the artist

Nikita Shalenny (1982, Dnipropetrovsk) graduated from the Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, department of architecture. He worked as an architect and a lecturer at the Academy. In 2011, he began his full time career as an artist, working in painting, drawing, video, photography, and installation. He was the receiver of the Best Installation Prize at the ArtVilnius in 2015, and the Public Choice Prize, awarded by the Pinchuk Art Centre (2011). Shalenny’s works from the project Where is your brother?are kept by the Mocak Museum of Contemporary Art collection (Krakow, Poland); his Album About Warbelongs to the Faurschou Foundation collection (Copenhagen, Denmark); his works can also be found in other Dutch and British collections. Shalenny is based in Dnipro, Ukraine.

Nikita Shalenny

Khora Virtual Reality
VR Production

Exhibited work

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The bridge, 2018

VR, duration: 9:51 min

In Shalenny’s VR work the viewer goes beyond the horizon on a compressed forty thousand kilometers journey around the world. A game of chance, the journey is the outcome of a line drawn from a bridge and further across the world, taking place in the dead of night, where fuzzy silhouettes of people tear along through desolated landscapes, fleeing into grayblizzards and shadowy forests. Based on watercolors by the artist, one setting replaces the other as the ghostlike figurescross birch forests, oil fields, abandoned churches and oceans in the seemingly limitless universe.

Shalenny has long been fascinated by the idea of the bridge in his works and in this particular work he takes a bridge as the starting point for imagining a way of escaping the ongoing crisis in the land where he resides. Or as he expresses it: “The idea of escaping is unconscious, it sprouts and becomes a young tree. Every morning I go to the yard with an axe and hack it at the root, banishing the wrong thoughts. The next morning it grows above me twice, its rustling leaves talking to the wind, which have already been everywhere.”