Publication / Ukrainian art collector Yuriy Kogutiak donates “Procedure room” object by Nikita Kadan to the National Art Museum

Newtopia, Museum Hof van Busleyden, Mechelen, Belgium, 2012

The National Art Museum of Ukraine is the key institution on modern Ukrainian art scene. The future of Ukrainian art itself depends on the success of the Museum and its experienced team today. Accordingly, the integration of all stakeholders is needed to support the National Art Museum.

On August 30, Shcherbenko Art Centre, together with the artists, joined the NAMU crowdfunding campaign and held charitable silent auction for partners, art collectors and “the NAMU friendly circle”. The percentage of total sales will be transferred to the Museum to support its activities. This campaign will last until September 16 and will end in Odessa with the second event at Otrada Beach Club.

However, the first unexpected results of the auction have already occured. In particular, well-known Ukrainian art collector and philanthropist Yuriy Kogutiak has acquired “Procedure room” object by Nikita Kadan during the silent auction at Shcherbenko Art Centre in order to donate it to the National Art Museum’s permanent collection.

“It’s not so much a gift as an important precedent nationwide and the most significant contribution to the state collection of Ukrainian art. Everything is connected in this world, and thus supporting the “artist – gallery – museum” link, the collector maintains the development of cultural economy of the state in general. As the founder of Shcherbenko Art Centre – an institution that systematically works both with artists and art collectors, I think that it is strategically necessary to sustain the country’s main museum with the coordinated cooperation of all participants of the art processes,” – comments Maryna Shcherbenko, curator of ShchAC and initiator of the silent auction.

On September 23, 2016 the “Procedure room” project will be presented in the space of the National Art Museum of Ukraine with the participation of donator Yuriy Kogutiak, artist Nikita Kadan, curator Maryna Shcherbenko’s team and representatives of the National Art Museum.

“It was important for me to present the work of talented artist Nikita Kadan to the Museum because it carries a fairly rough social-critical message. This is not a work of art for decoration (although formally decorative porcelain plates have precisely this purpose), this is the work that makes eyes be wide open, stop going with the flow and begin resistance. Such support of NAMU is a form of resistance for me personally, which I am sure will have important consequences and will cause such practice to be implemented more often,” – explaines Yuriy Kogutiak, art collector and philanthropist.

“A significant number of valuable exhibits, which now make up the collection of the National Art Museum of Ukraine, appeared in it thanks to philanthropists. The museum has started with Ukrainian intellectual elite and patrons, and what is more, they formed the Museum’s collection until 1919. Then the tradition of donation was interrupted and resumed only after the restoration of independence of Ukraine. We really appreciate that modern Ukrainian philanthropists and collectors maintain and develop such practice, which is common throughout the world. The donation of well-known art work by Nikita Kadan is an important contribution to the collection of 21st century art, which we are honored to form,”- says Yuliya Litvinets, the chief curator and acting director of NAMU.

Nikita Kadan "Procedure room" 2009-2010

“Procedure Room” object by Nikita Kadan has been presented within solo and group exhibitions in Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Krakow, Dresden, Kyiv, Odessa, Moscow, New York, Warsaw, Milan, Ljubljana and others. It also makes part of public collections of the Museum of Military History in Dresden and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

“Procedure Room” was created in 2009-2010. This art work is about police violence in Ukraine, which has become much more visible to the rest of the world since that time, taking on new, diverse forms and getting new names. In addition, this work is about the existence of so-called “apparent mysteries” in society – the unspoken blind zones, which everyone is aware of, but remains silent about. If the institution has decided to accept this work, I hope that it is ready to give up these blind zones and encourage society to refuse them,”- says the artist Nikita Kadan.

The ability to mediate in support of the National Art Museum of Ukraine is a priority within Shcherbenko Art Centre’s activities. However, it is important to further develop and spread this precedent in order to exclude its exclusive character in future.

National Art Museum of Ukraine is the main cultural institution in the country, the largest archive of Ukrainian art of different periods. At the moment, the Museum requires significant financial investment in the renovation of premises and exposition rooms. The museum was founded in 1899 by the efforts of Ukrainian collectors, philanthropists, business and intellectual elites. It was the first public museum in Kyiv. Today, the National Art Museum of Ukraine presents exhibitions of classic and contemporary art, has its own educational and children programs and functions as a platform for open cultural dialogue.

Shcherbenko Art Centre was created by Maryna Shcherbenko, Ukrainian curator and gallery owner. The task of the centre is to create opportunities for dialogue between the art world and the general audience. The Centre is engaged in exhibition activities, and also works as a venue for lectures, round tables, workshops with leading masters of modern art in Ukraine and other countries.

Procedure room project (2009-2010) is about police torture, a widespread practice in contemporary Ukraine. One could also say that this project is about the body, as something personal (unalienated), something private (an object of exchange), and as something that exists for the public good (entrusted to uniformed professionals). The project includes posters with the same drawings and correspondence fragments, which were put up in public space. The choice of forms and visual means is connected with the absence of any clear visual documentation of torture procedures, with their specific ‘invisibility’. The didactic character of these drawings addresses the collective responsibility of all those who know and remain silent, bearing the guilt for what goes on ‘in the shadows’. These instructions have been executed in the style of the “Popular Medical Dictionary” of the Soviet era, where one could often find illustrations of patient-characters with serene facial expressions, even though they are undergoing extremely painful procedures. ‘The doctor knows what he is doing. It’s all for our own good’.