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A Time in Pieces 

with contributions from Boji, Sergey Bratkov, Daria Chernyshova, Minna Henriksson, Nikolay Karabinovych, Dana Kavelina, Roman Khimei and Yarema Malashchuk, Ihor Okuniev, Lesia Vasylchenko and Vova Vorotniov

exhibition curated by Serge Klymko and Viktor Neumann

public program curated together with Natalie Keppler

24 May–July 27 2024

Opening: 24 May, 6–9 pm at Between Bridges

Opening performance by Boji: 24 May, 10 pm at DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program at daadgalerie 

When a historical moment falls apart – into something unforeseen, something disparate, something intricate – we witness a divergence in the flow of time. The present starts to flicker, exposing and bursting the seams of reality. The gravity of the moment takes over entirely. Time becomes a fossil, an enduring and persistent ‘now’.  

In a state of emergency, there are no clear paths to transcending the gravity of time – envisioning the future from this standpoint would defy not only temporality, but timelessness. In this desynchronised reality, events manifest as ghosts, their existence limited to the half-lives they lead within the realms of social media interfaces. And the future becomes a prayer.

A Time in Pieces is conceived on the occasion of Kyiv Perennial – the Berlin edition of the 5th Kyiv Biennial, which has been re-envisioned as a collaborative, pan-European undertaking on the foundations of political, social and cultural survival. The project is the latest chapter in a multilayered series of exhibitions and public programmes situated within the historically specific nexus of cultural production before and during the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine. It emerges against a backdrop of global renegotiations of solidarity and the atomisation of liberal values, and amid a climate of polarisation and radicalisation, demarcation and ethical dissociation.

With an emphasis on contemporary chronopolitics – the unstable relationship between regimes of power, concepts of time, and social and political imagination – A Time in Pieces centres around a temporal ecosystem that is shaped by the lived experience of military occupation, displacement and the trauma of war. Within this framework, the exhibition probes the field of regulated perceptions of temporality as both a tool and target of political action. The extremity of the present has become quotidian, and it is experienced as a trap, a quagmire, a dead-end. In seeking to shape the future in the present – or to prevent it taking shape – the politics of time is intimately linked to how transformation is perceived and managed, and, at its core, to whether transformation can be achieved at all. This deprivation of a future-oriented imagination thus links chronopolitics to necropolitics, similarly determining the lives that are deemed worthy or unworthy of imagining what lies ahead.

While A Time in Pieces is anchored in a distinct geopolitical constellation – as well as in its current humanitarian and ecological shattering – many of the works presented reflect on significant historical and transnational ties to today’s manifestations of despair. Other works, by employing strategies such as research-based prediction, associative evidence or speculative hypothesis, anticipate a ‘not yet’ that renders the devastations of the present as mere beginnings, as stages of exposition.

With time at stake, using the projections rooted in the pulsating ‘now’, A Time in Pieces seeks to materialise the sutures, stitching together the shredded fabric of the present. It's a pledge, a testimony, an attempt – to speak out of time. An attempt to speak too early.

A Time in Pieces is a collaboration between the Visual Culture Research Center, Between Bridges, and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program, conceived on the occasion of Kyiv Perennial, the Berlin edition of the 5th Kyiv Biennial.

Organised with generous support from the IZOLYATSIA Foundation, Trans Europe Halles and Malý Berlin, A Time in Pieces is co-financed by the ZMINA: Rebuilding program, created with the support of the European Union under a dedicated call for proposals to support Ukrainian displaced people and the Ukrainian Cultural and Creative Sectors. 

With the support of Teiger Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, Ukrainian Institute in Germany.