Victory (White Shelf)
Plywood, plaster and white paint

Modified reconstruction of the model of Monument to Three Revolutions:
1825, 1905 and 1917 by Vasiliy Ermilov (Vasyl Ermilov) and melted cups
found in the ruins of a house destroyed by artillery strikes in the
city of Lysychansk, Donbass.

Nikita Kadan’s monument Victory (White Shelf), a connecting joint of the postulated negativity, reconstructs a 1925 model of the Monument to Three Russian Revolutions: 1825, 1905 and 1917 by Vasyl Ermilov. Unlike the original hammer-shaped white and red sculptural model, a painted white plywood construction by Kadan is cleaned of communist symbolism and has the same appearance of the average avant-gardist’s iconography. The only element that disturbs the white sterility of the construction is an awkward baroque object on the top of the pedestal. In the original model, the pedestal was formed by the head of a red hammer. The red hammer becomes a base or a shelf, which serves as a resting place for the organically formed mess
of the melted cups, an object which Kadan found at the abandoned remains of what was once a house before an artillery strike in Lysychansk, Donbass. The historical optimism
of the red hammer is overturned by the negativity of the collapsed communist projects,
by the negativity of the never ending post-Soviet wars and the barely begun dismantling
of the imperial within the post-empire, nationalist within the post-colonial and the anti-communist within the history of really existing socialism. The little detail shifts the perspective and that is perhaps why the awkwardness of the unfitted objects, images and materials appear throughout Kadan’s work.

Maria Chehonadskih

Produced with support of Grad Gallery, London and Transit Gallery, Mechelen
Collection of mumok - Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien