Susanne Clausen: Can you explain how you understand the notion of catastrophe in relation to your work and to this project?
Lada Naknechna: It is easy to speculate on history when it is far away. I propose that we try to place ourselves inside the catastrophe and to think about finding ways of how we can speak about it from the position of being within.
SC: You have linked this notion to your work during the residency at the Abbey Ruins. You chose to show the flint stones that you found on the site of the Abbey, and you cast one of the stones and then you displayed multiple casts suggesting how this simple object/matter could be read and used in a different context in a situation of war or of protest.
LN: This feeling of catastrophe for me has something to do with a deep sense of loneliness. This is when something is happening to you and you don’t know how to deal with it, and you don’t have any tools and you cannot relate it to any discourse or story that might help you with this situation. I am really interested in thinking about ruins in my work, but I normally don’t relate it to a context that is not naturally close to me.
SC: How do you understand the notion of catastrophe in the context of the war in Ukraine? The work catastrophe actually originates from the Greek word meaning ‘overturn’. It originally referred to the disastrous finish of a drama.
LN: I think for people this notion will be different. Catastrophe could be something very personal, but on the other hand it is not only about the single person, because the person is not alone, in this situation or in this war. It is also a catastrophe of relations and of the social sphere, which influences politics, general attitudes and our relationships.
SC: How are you are planning to involve contributors of the online publication to work on this notion. You will be using the Webrecordersoftware piloted by Rhizome, which allows for different ways of layering of information and content, archiving searches and different paths to create personal digital archives of online content. You could then think about how this online structure also falls apart as it ages online or is disconnected.
LN: We will propose to contributors to think about their own context of catastrophe, and to give us their evidence, their own relation to this theme via the online content. The proposition is very relevant for working with the notion of the ruin, considering the situation in Ukraine. With any catastrophe like this, you always know it could happen but you don’t believe it will, and so when it really happens, you ask yourself, how could it be? In the contemporary world, since the beginning of the 20th Century, so many disasters have passed - people and society have worked with and about this so much already and you think it will not happen again, it should not happen again and then it does, and you cannot comprehend it. So we will try to work with this notion for our publication.