Conceived for the 2018 edition of Brave! Factory Festival, one of Ukraine’s largest techno parties, Afterhours is a time-based installation documented in a series of three images taken from a fixed vantage.
Since 2014, Karabinovych has been developing an archive which tracks confrontations between nightclub goers and armed state and quasi-state authorities, which are unfortunately frequently occurring in Ukraine and often turn violent. He does so as a DJ himself and with a particular focus on the consequences that occur when that which exists as entertainment and/or an outlet from oppression turns violent and morphs, in an instant, into frightful repression.
For Afterhours, Karabinovych wrote out the collected reports of confrontation on one of Brave! Factory Festival’s main dance floors, coating it from wall to wall with dense text. Alas, the text was written in chalk. As the dancers arrive and began dancing, the text began fading away. By the time the music stopped many hours later, the accounts had turned to dust.
Perfomance documentation, 3 Digital print on dibond, 120 x 70 cm, edition of 3
In my work as a DJ, I have encountered numerous, frustrating scenes of conflict over the years between the nightlife crowds and state and pseudo-state authorities. These encounters existed on a broad spectrum from verbal to physical, individual to collective, biased to corrupted. Each revealed imbalances intolerance in stark terms.
In 2014, I started developing an archive of such attacks and confrontations, predominantly official reports and statistics… the relatively dry material which ensures these highly charged moments aren’t forgotten. In more ways than one, this archive can be read as a memorandum on the evolving ideals of a generation and a governing apparatus unsure how to quell or accommodate the emerging values of their constituents.
A few years later, I was invited to take part in the art program of a major techno festival in Kyiv. This large-scale event, with an attendance numbering in the thousands, challenged me to activate the ravers’ consciousness in a gesture of community compassion and group empowerment.
And so, with white chalk, I wrote out the information I had been collecting on these various attacks on one of the dance floors. Then I took a photo the moment before the crowds arrived.
Over the course of the night, the dancers took charge. Their moves erased my writing. Taxonomic information was blurred, obscured and distorted. Eventually, it was erased entirely. The chalk text morphed into a memory sustained in formless dust.
Throughout the evening, I observed the crowds’ effect, documenting the stages of their dance-based destruction in still images.