I had a feeling that if you were underwater, then, firstly, you could see what was above, and secondly, you could swim to the surface. Of course, what you see from the depths is very restricted information, a visual orgy that has a completely different meaning while you are in the deep. And it makes sense to only enjoy it from under the water because when you swim out, you will meet a new reality. The mermaid left bloody marks. She consciously chose it and accepted it, but what if she chose something else? This leads to the second question: is it enough to only leave circles on the water, traces of our breath, to show our presence? Or should we emerge and testify aloud? In short, the word Underwater sounded to me more complex than the word Underground. So that’s what I decided to name the film I started shooting in 2016.
This film was supposed to be just a record of what I see around me, what I interact with, what I care about, why I empathize. The title of the film could as well have been: Creating aCollective Archive of Various, Often Violent Perceptions and Experiences of Four Ukrainian Artists.
At the start, it had stories from more than four people. The way I focused on the stories of only three artists and myself later is an interesting journey in itself. A journey through one’s own body and memory.
After comparing myself with Masha, Ksenia or AntiGonna, I can now say that we are very similar. It’s a very simple thing, actually. Something quite logical.
So, Underwater is a film about me and three other women, with whom we have many similar stories. Stories that shaped us. In short, we have a lot in common. It’s the way we see reality and how our body is inscribed in it. Am I making myself clear? Would it be interesting for viewers from different parts of the world to see such a film? No one knows. That’s why we have a logline and a synopsis. Oksana Kazmina
The starting points of the central part of the exhibition are the interviews of the curators with the participants of the film Underwater, recorded during the Underwater. Shchaslyvtseve residency in June 2021. From each interview, you can travel through the individual mycelia of the participants, which at many points intersect, intertwined into a single body (navigation hint: pay attention to colours). Most of the exhibition consists of video and audio created in the process of working on the film during 2016–2021 and provided by director Oksana Kazmina, as well as other materials provided by producer Yulia Serdyukova. Most of the videos were shot by Oksana Kazmina and Natalka Dyachenko, unless otherwise stated.
In addition, in each of the individual myceliathere are artworks of the participants, created especially for the exhibition. These works are not technically a part of the film, but rather reflections on the theme of the Underwater project: they are incited by the relationships that accompanied both the process of working on the film and the stay at the residence. Oksana Kazmina's conversation with the curators is also her work for the exhibition.
An interview with the exhibitors mentions a joint screening of the film. This was a private screening of the first edited version (the so-called assembly cut), made up by Oksana from the material filmed until that time in late 2020.
As stated in the curatorial text (explication) for the exhibition, we did not interfere with the original video and audio materials of the film. Except when it was necessary to delete some parts of the data for security reasons. Such places are marked with the word reducted or with a characteristic sound.
Please note that some materials of the exhibition can cause unpleasant feelings for various reasons. We warn about possible triggers under each video (or any other point of the mycelium) separately. If you think it is worth adding such a warning where it does not exist, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org (also use it to send us your feedback and comments on the exhibition).
Under Ukrainian law, a significant part of the exhibition materials is not intended for viewing by minors.