21 / 11 / 19 — 25 / 01 / 20
The Ukrainian word ‘remont’ can be humbly translated into English as renovation or maintenance, however the nuanced meanings slip away in the act of translation. Accordingly, remont can better be described as a long-term, ongoing or even never-ending process of keeping together that which threatens to decay, usually infrastructure. Remont initiatives are stereotypically mismanaged, chaotic, low-quality. They are often carried out by the very same inhabitants of the building who by no means have professional skills.
Taken as a metaphor that best describes the current state of affairs in the world, Kaabi-Linke’s Remont consists of natural paving stones loosely laid out on the floor and missing grout between the stones on the walls.
The latter creates filigrane, yet minimalist relief embracing the passage of the exhibition space. The missing mortar between the stones will cause a wobbling and noisy ground once someone is walking on it. The simple act of walking and moving forward is uprooted by an underlying feeling of insecurity. The noise produced with each new step echoes the public discourses and debates seeking solutions to economic, political, environmental, social, etc. problems. The question of whether problem and solution will pair goes unanswered.
Kaabi-Linke’s hints at the notion that instability and viral uncertainty is a new normal in our contemporary moment. The fear of loss in material wealth, prestige, esteem and influence overpowers the facts appear incompatible.
Yet despite perennial anxiety of social and economic decline, one grows accustomed to the imbalanced distribution of wealth. The environmental effects of capitalism commodifying all aspects of human activity are well established, and yet there is still no seismic shift in socio-political understanding in sight. Kaabi-Linke’s installation thus becomes a metaphor for this kind of collective indifference to any necessity of change.
— Kateryna Filyuk