Reconstituted Weapons: A Tiger's Leap, 2018

Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Forged iron spear, on base
230 x 50 x 50 cm (each)

Reconstruction of weapons made by Gorlovka metal workers from their instruments to oppose cossacks and police during Gorlovka uprising. The armed uprising was the part of 1905 revolution and the turning point for the worker's movement at Donbas.
'The sculpture displays iron replicas of improvised weapons fashioned from tools used in industrial metallurgy during the early 20th century, in the Russian Empire. Such weapons were used by factory workers in a failed uprising in 1905 in Horlivka, an industrial city in the Donetsk region. The military violently subdued the revolt, but this act of resistance was one of many that laid the groundwork for not only the successful revolution of 1917 and the start of the Soviet state, but also the enthusiastic belief in a Soviet utopia that the artists of the Avant-Garde would vividly express.
Tiger’s Leap is one of Walter Benjamin’s most well-known concepts. Applied to the work of Nikita Kadan, Xin Feng & Kiera Chapman’s reading of a tiger’s leap comes to mind: “a ‘tiger’s leap’ into the past rejects the idea of time as linear and sequential in favor of creative use of past example that breaks with the temporal continuum. The ‘tiger’s leap’ allows people to seize on the past as a source of difference and thus to draw attention to new possibilities for change in the present. Kadan makes a series of ‘tiger’s leaps’ by appropriating historical events, objects and designs and reinterpreting them with a contemporary urgency. –Björn Geldhof
The work of Nikita Kadan (born in 1982 in Kyiv) centers on his artistic exploration of post-communist social and political developments and their origins and causes in the Soviet system. The artist is a sensitive and critical observer and interpreter of historical shifts and the connections and continuities between the communist past and turbo-capitalist present. As a significant figure in the Ukrainian art scene, Nikita Kadan has become the voice and witness of the Ukrainian situation since the beginning of the war provoked by the Russian forces in March 2022. Nikita Kadan is a member of the artist group R.E.P. (Revolutionary Experimental Space) since 2004 and co-founder and member of the curatorial group and activities HUDRADA since 2008. He graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts in Kyiv, where he studied monumental painting; he now works with installation, graphic design, painting, wall drawings, and posters in the city, sometimes in interdisciplinary collaboration with architects, human rights activists, and sociologists.