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katja pilipenko

not everyone will be taken to a bunker
everything is clear—everything is wrong
in search of lost security

the king is naked
the list of mystifications

Projection 700 x 270 cm, mirrors, sound: 49:10 min.

"Not Everyone Will Be Taken to a Bunker" is a multimedia installation, conceived for an exhibition at Hajusom e.V. in a bunker on Feldstraße in Hamburg.

Bomb shelters have been integral to Israeli architecture since the nation’s founding in 1948. Israeli law mandates that all homes, residential buildings, and industrial facilities be equipped with bomb shelters. Covering approximately 60% of Israel’s territory, the Negev Desert is deeply intertwined with the nation's history, which has been marked by persistent conflict since its inception. The most recent escalation occurred on October 7, 2023, starting with Hamas terrorist attacks targeting kibbutzim and the Supernova festival, originating from the desert.

The installation features a static video projection of the Negev Desert in Israel on one of the bunker walls. Mirrors affixed to two sides of the projection reflect the video, creating an infinity effect. This visual motif aims to expand the confined space of the bunker. By juxtaposing the bunker and desert spaces, the installation blurs the boundaries between closed and open, protected and unprotected, safe and dangerous, security and freedom, as well as military facility and nature.

For the sound composition, the research involved discussions with individuals from Israel about their experiences in bomb shelters. Sound designer Christian Pappalardo created the final experimental track, incorporating sounds from the bunkers based on these accounts, snippets taken from social media and news outlets, and mixing them with Psytrance-inspired rhythms and sounds played at the Supernova festival.

Christian Pappalardo: Sound
Alexey Kudrik: Сamera
Arne Mier, Ole Manke: Technical Сonception

Pencil on paper, 42 × 59,4 cm

The basis of the two drawings is the phrase in Russian "Everything is not so clear". Russian propaganda uses it when the government enacts vile policies. The most blatant example is Russian invasion to Ukraine. Yes, BUT everything is not so clear: NATO provoked us to do it, defending the Russian people in Donbas was vital, if we had not attacked, Ukraine would have attacked us first.

The text is written on two different images of the sky. In the first drawing, a bird flies, whilst in the second, an Iranian Shahed drone, commonly used by the Russian military for attacks in Ukraine.

Clouds obscure parts of the sentance "Everything is not so clear". So the viewer can read in the first image, "Everything is clear", following the second drawing with, "Everything is wrong".

6 aluminium plates, 170x100, UV print

I was developing the installation In Search of Lost Security in March 2022. I described the news of two media in Russia and Germany — Channel One Russia and Tageschau.

The focus of the work was six days from 15.02. to 20.02.2022, before the recognition of the independence of the republics of Donetsk and Luhansk, when it became clear that Russia would launch an invasion of Ukraine.

Those days included Scholz’s first meeting with Putin, the 58th Munich Security Conference, the announcement of dates for the invasion of Ukraine by U.S. intelligence, and Russia’s fabricated pretext for the invasion and the proposal to recognize the independence of the Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics. The main topic of those days was security.

These texts are printed on six aluminium plates on both sides — on one side a fragment from Channel One News, on the other from Tagesschau. The plates are suspended one by one, with the viewer sandwiched between the texts. Its movement drives the plates. The heavy plates are suspended from the ceiling on thin metal bands, which creates a sense of instability in the entire installation.

3 sculptures, each 60, 50, 65 cm, glass

In Russia, police batons are used to suppress protests. The long-handled baton is called the Argument 1, the short-handled Argument 2, and the one with a retractable handle Argument 3.

There are three sculptures - batons made of glass. The argument is a term referring to communication — a conversation or discussion. The name of the baton suggests that physical force is an argument for the people who use it. The glass must be used to deprive the baton of its gravity and make it fragile.

The glass sculptures should refer to the fragile and unstable relationships between the people and the state, reflected in the language and its use to establish powers and conduct the population.

40 plates, 35 x 50 cm each, lenticular printing

Synonyms is a kind of visual poem containing 40 pairs of words – euphemisms and its direct meaning –,made in the technique of lenticular printing. Two words are printed on top of each other on a special surface. Depending on the angle of the viewer, one or the other word is seen. Pairs of words are taken from the media space.

Originally meant to be inoffensive and polite, euphemism has become an instrument of commercial, political, and postmodern doublespeak. The danger of doublespeak is that it obfuscates the real meaning. The unstable quality of prints signifies the ambiguity of language.

With kind support of the Freundeskreis der HFBK e.V.

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