Anton Tkachenko studied in Kharkiv at the University of Architecture and Construction, majoring in architecture. He started his art practice in 2014 and in 2015, he started working as a curator in the curatorial association, Vidsotok. In 2019, He co-founded the Garage 127 space in Kharkiv, which specialized in building the infrastructure of contemporary art and supporting artists at the beginning of their careers.
Story of experience of risk, relocation and/or exile
Artist’s account: My name is Anton Tkachenko and I am an artist from Kharkiv. I built my career in this city, opened an exhibition space and participated in the cultural life of the city, but unfortunately, the events of the last two years in Ukraine forced me to leave my hometown. With the beginning of the Russian invasion, I lost the opportunity to use my workshop, where I had created my works for many years.
Losing my workshop and my space, Garage 127, has been a big challenge for me, but I am ready to overcome the difficulties and carry on my creative pursuits. The residency has been an opportunity to rediscover my voice and find stability in uncertain times. For me, this is not only a space to work, but also a community and support base, which I so need at this stage of my practice.
Projects created during the residency period
In September 2023, Tkachenko held an exhibition titled, “Forces that do not exist” at Hlibzawod Bakery. It was a project about loneliness, in which the artist thinks about the relationship between man and the environment. Under the conditions of the full-scale invasion, the artist was forced to remain in Ukraine without his relatives and friends, adapting to new realities. It was then he began to search for an answer to the question: “How to live on?”. He unexpectedly found an answer in faith in otherworldly forces, which was not characteristic of him before.
“In times of instability and lack of confidence in the future, people begin to rely on otherworldly forces and believe in things that, in their opinion, can make their lives easier or save them from trouble. I remember my family and their friends rapidly becoming superstitious in the nineties. Instead of a doctor, there was a dragonfly, instead of financial literacy — faith in fortune-telling and schedules, instead of developing one’s social skills and socialization in general — charms.”
This programme is organized by Perpetuum Mobile (PM) as part of the Artists at Risk (AR)-Network in partnership with UNESCO and with the support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Teiger Foundation.