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Alevtina Kakhidze

Alevtina Kakhidze

Alevtina Kakhidze
Image Credit: ameliebrunels

Dorothea Schlegel Artist in Residence

Research Area 4: "Literary Currencies"

June 2024

All right?

During the initial days of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, armed Russian soldiers were merely two kilometres away, forcing the artist Alevtina Kakhidze to seek refuge from the shelling in her basement. This acute threat to her life catalysed a shift in her global perspective. Kakhidze began a series of drawings, engaging in imaginary dialogues with renowned intellectuals who have grappled with themes of war and peace. Notable figures among them include the 18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant, author of the essay on perpetual peace, and the contemporary philosopher Bruno Latour, who in his writings* hesitated to acknowledge the Russian invasion of Ukraine as the primary global concern. Instead, he emphasised the pressing matter of a newly released report on the climate crisis. Anselm Kiefer’s artworks on World War II also found a place on her list. They are particularly poignant, as they were exhibited in the Doge’s Palace in Venice in the spring of 2022 **. For Kakhidze, the exhibition seemed outdated since, at that time, there were 28 active conflicts worldwide. Kakhidze’s drawings will authentically reflect dialogues with her contemporary colleagues, including fellow artists and curators. She views her artistic endeavour as urgent, believing that in a world so fractured, there is a critical need for reflection within the context of “Temporary Communities”.

*C’est ce que je ressens depuis que je lis en même temps les nouvelles de la guerre en Ukraine et le nouveau rapport du GIEC sur la mutation climatique. Je ne parviens pas à choisir l’une ou l’autre de ces deux tragédies[1]. Bruno Latour

« QUELLES ENTRE-DEUX-GUERRES ? » N°1034, Radio Univers, last accessed August 2022. "Quelles entre-deux-guerres ?" N°1034 - Radio Univers 


Alevtina Kakhidze was born in Zhdanivka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine (then USSR) in 1973. She isa multidisciplinary artist whose practice encompasses performance, drawing, time-based media, curation and collaborative works and investigates complex issues from consumerism to plant culture, and from feminism to life in conflict zones. She is based in Muzychi, Ukraine, 26 kilometres from the capital of Kyiv. Having grown up in the Donetsk region of Ukraine, known for coal mining, she experienced Ukraine’s abrupt and chaotic shift from the days of the USSR to the imbalanced environment after, including the undeclared war between Russia and Ukraine that it is going on today. She remained in Ukraine after the full-scale invasion in 2022 and now describes the everyday impact of the death and destruction of the war to people who live in peace. 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 has been a United Nations Tolerance Envoy in Ukraine since 2018 and a recipient of the “State of the ART(ist)” Honorary Mentions by Ars Electronica and the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2023), the Women in Arts Award—2023, UN Women Ukraine, the Kazimir Malevich Artist Award in 2008 and the first prize of the Competition for Young Curators and Artists, Kyiv, Centre for Contemporary Art at NaUKMA in 2002.