Sergey Kantsedal (b. 1989) is a Ukrainian-born curator based in Italy. He is currently running a contemporary art foundation Barriera opened by a group of collectors in Turin and the residency program HOW YOU DARE?/COME TI PERMETTI? for Ukrainian artists at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan.

From 2017 to 2021 he worked together with Barbara Casavecchia and Guido Costa on OGR YOU, a non-conventional educational project for young adults at Officine Grandi Riparazioni (OGR) in Turin. Among the artists who took part in this project: Nan Goldin, Adam Christensen, Adelita Husni-Bey, Angelo Plessas, Diego Marcon, Eva and Franco Mattes, Invernomuto, Slavs and Tatars, Sophie Jung just to mention a few.

He also works as indipendent curator  collaborating tightly with young artists and non profit art institutions in order to produce works, exhibitions and projects. He is particularly interested in the heritage of the former Eastern Bloc and it’s role in the construction of cultural, political and gender identity.

He took part in MEDITERRANEA 18, Young Artists Biennial in Tirana and a transnational research program A Natural Oasis? (San Marino-Kosovo-Montenegro-Malta). Previously he run Biruchiy Contemporary Art Residency (2013-2015, Biruchiy island, Ukraine) and worked as a curator of the Centre of Contemporary Art YermilovCentre (2012-2013, Kharkov).

He graduated from State Academy of Design and Arts of Kharkov, attended Third Moscow Curatorial Summer School by V-A-C Foundation and CAMPO, curatorial practices course at Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin (2015-2016)

On The Blade / Maria Proshkowska 

- residency program, curator (together with Giulia Pezzoli) 

MAMbo - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Bologna

April - June, 2022

The artist is holding an object she has made from utilitarian things, such as a mortar and coins used in Ukraine in the late nineteenth-early twentieth century. Having started the process of sharpening coins with the purpose of transforming an object of seemingly unknown purpose into a cold weapon in Kyiv, the artist continues it in Bologna. The performance takes place on the premices of an old deconserved church, which is now home to women united in their fight against war, violence and discrimination.

After receiving shelter together with her son, just as women used to find it in monasteries and churches, the artist symbolically continues her work of turning old coins into sharp blades in this exact location, transforming her anger, fear and despair caused by the events in Ukraine into power. The meditative, repetitive movements provide space for reflection and research into the role of a woman in military conflict, her vulnerability, fragility and at the same time her endurance when it comes to protecting her own land, dignity, body and her children.

Hundreds and possibly thousands of rapes and death of Ukrainian women and girls by the Russian military provoke a desperate cry, but instead of screaming, the viewer is presented with an audio recording of the process of sharpening coins with an obtrusive grind of metal, reminiscent of teeth clenched to the point of pain. The fragility, almost weightlessness of the artist holding a rather rough and aggressive-looking object in her hands, which she makes even more dangerous by the minute, visualizes the main idea of the performance, and the difference in arrangement and lighting allows the viewer to feel the endless continuity of the artist's work.

Photo-documentation of the performance: Ornella De Carlo

Flash Art Magazine

Smarginate / Renate Bertlmann, Anuschka Blommers & Niels Schumm, Valie Export, Scott King, Jeff Koons, Leigh Ledare, Robert Mapplethorpe, Yamamoto Masao, Libera Mazzoleni, Yasumasa Morimura, Orlan, Gina Pane, Niki de Saint Phalle, Carol Rama, Gerhard Richter, Sophy Rickett, Lala Meredith-Vula, Joel Peter Witkin, Francesca Woodman

- exhibition, curator (together with Fabrizia Pironti)

text by Guido Costa

Associazione Barriera, Turin

25.05.2022 ― 19.06.2022

Smarginate is a collective exhibition opening in the spaces of Associazione Barriera on the occasion of the Turin fair dedicated to photography and image, The Phair. The project emerges from a dialogue between the curator Sergey Kantsedal and Fabrizia Pironti, member of Associazione Barriera. The exhibition is centered around the theme of the body and explores its role within the narrative of the symbols of female subjectivity and its self-representation.

Smarginate attempts – through a transversal perspective on a single collection – to collect the revolutionary legacy of feminist art. From Francesca Woodman to Orlan, from Gina Pane to Renate Bertlmann, from Valie Export to Lala Meredith-Vula, the exhibition presents a series of exemplary works belonging to the history of photography and self-reappropriation of female body. Smarginate has a peculiar focus on strategies and techniques of disguise, considering them as a production and reproduction of identities that escape dominant cultural categories. These techniques give life to a role-playing game that can subvert habitual power relations. Photography too is given the task of challenging binary categories—male/female, oppressor/victim, active/passive. Feminist – often without being called such – the practices and poetics collected in the exhibition offer a harvest of stories marked by ambiguity and androgyny.

Suspended between gesture and posture, rapture and pain, the displayed bodies tell and want to tell themselves in a short-circuit of movements, impulses and glances, but also misunderstandings and revelations.

Photography by Gabriele Abbruzzese

Pantomima XXX / Alan Stefanato

- exhibition, curator

Associazione Barriera, Turin

11.02.2022 – 13.03.2022

The practice of Alana Stefanato is the result of an autodidactic path outside the main Academies and art schools, and it acts through the medium of painting yet looking beyond it, incorporating other languages over time, such as drawing and sculpture. Stefanato uses the traditional technique of oil painting, which with time led him to conceive different possibilities and solutions. A first period, hallmarked by landscapes inhabited by surreal and grotesque characters, is followed by a secon period distinguished by a more abstract style, made of backgrounds, shapes, colors and sensations, and based on a meticulous process of phenomenal observation of nature and altered mimesis.

The project encompasses a corpus of unpublished works that further develops this line of research, highlighting the expressiveness of the technique, the
pictorial sign and its spontaneous ramification. Painting is reduced to an instinctive act rather than a decorative one: the work session, which can last even up to 12 hours, is never over until the work is completed. The time spent to create a painting is usually quite limited, so that improvisation and discovery are essential features of the production, experienced as a deeply intimate and intense experience.

Pantomima XXX develops from the idea of the frame as a device that suggests an interpretation of the exhibition. The frame, whose function is not only to delimit a canvas, but also to contain the space represented in the painting, in this case performs a more open function. Made in op-art style, combining abstract subjects and colors, the frames’ patterns trigger an unsettling and nauseating
effect that projects the work towards a fourth dimension and fuels a tension between the ideas of belonging and destination, reality and fiction.
As a fil rouge that runs through the entire project, the alternation of black and white is part of a lively and expressive narrative, a pantomime
conceived as a wordless action of theatrical representation. Meanwhile, this alternation establishes a parallelism with the pictorial practice as a silent language made of gestures and movement applied to the canvas. The para-theatrical imagination reveals itself starting from an unrea dialogue between the Moon and Pierrot, a character who lost his slyness and duplicity to
become a melancholic mime who is love with the moon, the same Gilles of the famous painting by Antoine Watteau.

The conversation between Pierrot and the Moon is a crosstalk that follows a succession of paradoxical visions and associations, a surreal and sometimes dreamlike chat. An atmosphere that is reflected especially in the text written by the artist, but also in some of the paintings’ titles – Il lupo non sa contare (The wolf can’t count), I rubinetti sono fiumi deviati (Taps are diverted rivers) and Vivere in campagna desensibilizza (Living in the countryside desensitizes) – which, together with the installation and visual parts, participate in the definition of the goliardic character of the show
and establish a dialogue between its various elements.

Photography by Gabriele Abbruzzese

NERO Magazine