Seacoast © Mykola Ridnyi
Artist Mykola Ridnyi from Kharkiv combines moving images from the Black Sea coast with the sounds of a jet plane, reflecting on the relativity of the world. This reaction to the creation of the self-proclaimed republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a result of Russia’s attack on Georgia in 2008 foreshadows the annexation of Crimea.
Mykola Ridnyi’s video was filmed on the Black Sea coast in 2008 – when only few people would have predicted that the region would at one point become engulfed in a brutal war of aggression. It shows a static horizon dotted with the figures of fishermen: a calm pictorial surface periodically punctured by jellyfish splattering on the ground.
The main association is the sound of bombs dropping, achieved with recordings of a jet plane. The video conveys the unsteadiness and relativity of peace and how quickly and easily military aggression can escalate. It responds to Russia’s unexpected assault on Georgia in 2008, purportedly to defend the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This short war took place six years before the annexation of Crimea – and fourteen years before the all-out invasion of Ukraine. Today, it appears like a precise indication of the present war’s first appearance in the distance, transposed onto a summer idyll.
Mykola Ridnyi, born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, is an artist, filmmaker and curator. He works across media, ranging from site-specific installations and sculpture to photography and experimental films. His works have been shown in exhibitions and film festivals including Survival Kit 13 in Riga (2022), Transmediale at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin (2019), and All the World’s Futures at the 56th Venice Biennale (2015).
The event is funded by the Federal Agency for Civic Education/bpb.