Established 2005 in Kharkov, Ukraine
Nikolai Ridny (born in 1985 in Kharkov, Ukraine), Anna Kriventsova (born in 1985 in Evpatoria, Ukraine), Sergei Popov (born in 1978 in Komsomolsk, Ukraine)
The SOSka group was established in October 2005 in Kharkov - the city that still cherished the memory of those days bygone, when it had been the capital of the independent Ukraine, and took a special pride in its artistic traditions reaching back to the avant-garde period. However, in the Post-Soviet time Kharkov developed no up-to-date mechanism to support artists. Logically, the existence of the SOSka group began with an appropriation of a small one-story house in the city centre.
This building was turned into a gallery-laboratory intended to house exhibitions, as well as communicative and educational projects. Curiously enough, the artists' diverse collective activity brought them to see their induced marginality as an asset, making it a point in their artistic program. They declared: 'The SOSka lab is a community built on the principles of self-organization and friendship – an alternative to forced communication, imposed upon the artist by the contemporary neoliberal system.'
Distance 2011 Installation
The Distance project accurately recreates within a Museum space the interior of the legendary gallery laboratory SOSka that existed in Kharkov in 2005 – 2010. Thus, the artists have given a new life to their gallery, and within this new gallery they have put on display four photos, in which the 'members of SOSka are captured in the company of artists' of worldwide renown: Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Takashi Murakami. So the world of a willing if imposed marginality meets the world of professional accomplishment and commercial success. The Distance project brings together two opposite poles of artistic community and makes evident their incompatibility, predictable but none the less almost grotesque. Thus, the very idea of artistic community is literally exposed as fiction. As the authors elaborate: 'The contact that the pictures capture is a fiction of friendship; at the same time, it speaks of the impossibility of communication between different segments of contemporary art and contemporary society at large. In this project SOSka raises a series of questions: about the artist’s need to choose a model of activity in the cultural sphere, about the role of communities and the relative nature of authority within the functional system of contemporary art.'
Distance 2011 Installation Moscow