Daniil Galkin

Ukrainian Artist


Daniil Galkin (1985) belongs to a new generation of Ukrainian artists whose work is steadily re-shaping both the role and importance of contemporary art in Ukraine and beyond. Working primarily with installation, Galkin looks directly towards the experience of individuals within political systems rife with tension, control and oppression. He seeks to understand and expose the traps or obstacles within the public sphere, such as tourniquets and checkpoints, which he believes often act as points where state control and surveillance become tangible. However, these elements are mostly perceived by society at large to be naturally formed, in turn allowing such mechanisms to easily penetrate human consciousness.

In 2011, Galkin began his long term multidisciplinary project entitled The Lower State reflecting, as he puts it “the set of situations in the socio-political system that is a pillar of the existing social order and opinion makers, questioning the moral, political, legal and ethical standards.” The project comes with a second name also, Dissociative Resocialization, referring to the “repeated socialization, which occurs throughout the individual’s life and changes his/her attitude, goals, norms and values. It is a psychological defence mechanism. With this mechanism in operation, a person begins to perceive what is happening as if it were occurring to someone else.” The artist carries out an analysis of such situations in each new installation he develops, seeing it as a symptom of the contemporary state.

During his residency period at SomoS, Daniil Galkin will deepen his investigation of the issues raised in The Lower State. Specifically, he will begin research into the architectural designs of playgrounds and their ideological underpinnings by making a comparison between those in the cities of Ukraine and Germany. Government officials regularly abuse their positions and the power entrusted to them, using the public domain and state property for their own benefit. Galkin views playgrounds as manipulated state property which involve the direct interaction between objects and subjects. He aims to incorporate the results of his survey in upcoming new work, furthering intellectual and political discourse in Ukraine. Galkin hopes his work convinces city authorities in his home country that there is a need for innovative approaches to the creation of playgrounds, which in turn would positively impact the development of the urban environment and playgrounds countrywide.

Placing his art at a crossroad between the public and private sphere, Daniil Galkin is asking for a new generation of dialogue and discourse to take shape concerning the physical settings which impact our political and social order. He demands for an open and democratic civic community, where individuals and groups can freely discuss and define their own value systems. Galkin will showcase his current work on March 12th, 2020, 6-9pm at SomoS in his solo exhibition Schwäne-Gänse (The Swan-Geese).

Daniil Galkin received his degree from the Theatre-Arts College and Academy of Construction and Architecture. In 2009 he began work on a pilot project as part of the art group “2222”, which consists of alter-personalities of a single author (himself). He is the winner of multiple awards including the Grand Prix MUXI-2011 and the Third Special PinchukArtCentre Prize in 2013. Galkin has also participated in over 70 solo and group exhibitions held in venues such as Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Saatchi Gallery (London), Moscow Museum of Modern Art (Moscow), Danubiana Meulensteen Art Museum (Bratislava), CzechCentre (Prague), Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kiev) and on other locations. He currently lives and works in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.