Ukrainian Artist Daniil Galkin Traces the Political Indoctrination of Youth

Solo Exhibition

12.03.2020 6pm  - 9pm

For Immediate Release
Berlin–March 1, 2020

Press Release: Daniil Galkin, installation, exhibition, video, sculpture, political art

Ukrainian Artist Daniil Galkin Traces the Political Indoctrination of Youth

Summary: In his exhibition at SomoS titled “Schwäne-Gänse,” Ukrainian artist Daniil Galkin shows how political indoctrination in the Ukraine affects young people.


Schwäne-Gänse, Solo Exhibition / Artist’s Reception by Daniil Galkin


Thursday, March 12th 2020, 6-9pm only


SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.0G, 10967, Berlin (U8 – Schönleinstraße)

On Thursday March 12th 2020, 6 – 9pm, SomoS hosts an exhibition and artist reception, in which Ukrainian artist Daniil Galkin traces how political indoctrination in the Ukraine affects young people.

Galkin 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. His current research, conducted during an Artist Residency at SomoS Berlin, looks at the ideological underpinnings of public design and architecture.

In his one-day exhibition at SomoS, titled Schwäne-Gänse (swan-geese), the artist demonstrates how young people in Ukraine are in danger of being indoctrinated by nationalism, ideology and conservatism.

The exhibition displays video sketches and small sculptural forms made with children’s modelling clay which can be reused, allowing objects to transition from one shape to another and enabling metamorphoses, possibly alluding to the malleability of the youthful mind. Galkin’s plasticine objects portray children’s gear; mittens, socks, bibs, handkerchiefs and headwear, featuring distinctive right-wing symbols, runes, emblems, forbidden motto’s or monograms made after real life examples, demonstrating the highly politicized environment in which Ukrainian children grow up.

The exposition continues with the video Exam at Children’s Ballet School in which Galkin compares adult, i.e. political, choreography to the children’s one, reflecting on what may become of the young ballet dancers, implying for example national scouts or apprentices of children’s camps with a focus on national patriotism. Exam at Children’s Ballet School refers to the 1982 “National Police Day,” which became the symbol of the Soviet Union’s collapse; on this day the television channels broadcast the Swan Lake instead of the expected gala music concert. Galkin thus compares an adult, i.e. political choreography against a children’s one, pondering over what might become of the young ballet dancers in the future.

In his current research, Galkin traces how ideology has entered even the playground and the realm of youth in general. Since, as Galkin notes, political ideologies have always been spread more easily with the help of a child’s image, Ukraine has started introducing modern playgrounds, for instance in the form of warships, as part of the implementation of its patriotic endeavors program.

“It is evident that, with military action going on, many approve of such politically-charged spatial constructions,” Galkin states, perceiving connections to similar phenomena in the Ukraine, such as “the emergence of voluntary public order squads, and traveling exhibitions featuring artifacts of war with national embroidery painted on them during children’s workshops,” noting that all of these are perceived as appropriate awareness-raising events that unsurprisingly result in increased far-right inclinations in Ukrainian youth.

The project is realized within the House of Europe mobility program during which Galkin researched architectural solutions for children’s playgrounds in various German cities, approaching them as sculptures in public space which involve a direct interaction between objects and subjects and complement the urban exterior that in the artist’s view not only has great artistic value, but also multiple functionalities, transforming those playgrounds into full-blown recreation parks for people of all ages.

About Daniil Galkin:

Daniil Galkin received his degree from the Theatre-Arts College and Academy of Construction and Architecture. He is the winner of multiple awards including the Grand Prix MUXI-2011 and the Third Special Pinchuk Art Centre Prize in 2013. Galkin has also participated in various solo and group exhibitions held in venues such as Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Saatchi Gallery, Moscow Museum of Modern Art. He currently lives and works in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.



High res images are available on request.

Social Media:

Tags: #PoliticalArt #Ukraine #DaniilGalkin #SomoSberlin #ideology #children #Berlin

Twitter: @SomoS_Berlin

In the “Schwaene-Gaense” #exhibition at SomoS, #Ukrainian #artist #DaniilGalkin shows how young people in #Ukraine are in danger of being indoctrinated by #nationalism and #conservatism. #politicalArt #somosberlin

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About SomoS:

SomoS is a non-commercial artist-run art space with an emphasis on interdisciplinary projects, intergenerational community and diversity, founded in 2012. Working with emerging and mid-career artists, including those from underserved backgrounds and communities, SomoS provides space, knowledge and resources for the production, presentation, and reflection of the arts. Its mission is to create an international open framework for innovative arts, curatorial projects, education and creative cooperation. SomoS’ exhibitions are based on its own curatorial projects, as well as fee-less open calls for art and curatorial/artistic proposals, and are supported by art councils, universities, philanthropists, patrons, volunteers, interns and staff, all of which share our great enthusiasm for enabling the artist’s vision in projects that would not be easily realized otherwise. SomoS’ engaged schedule of exhibitions, performances, seminars and artist talks is free to the public, and aims to spark interest, discussion, cooperation and understanding, as it activates art’s unique positive uniting potential.


T: +49 (0)172 3118431
+49 (0)30 89563000
A: SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 1.OG, 10967 Berlin