Collection of essays about artistic statements in Belarusian contemporary art

Zhanna Gladko:
cycle “Inciting Force”,

ZBOR #24

Multimedia project

Wooden constructions, audio, video, objects, photographs, metal, fabric, glass, powder, dust, bullets, paint, tile, stage light

First performed at Ў Gallery, Minsk, Belarus

Zhanna Gladko:cycle “Inciting Force”,2012

Fragment of the installation “Inciting Force”, 2012


In 2012, Ў gallery of contemporary art in Minsk hosted the personal exhibition Inciting Force by Zhanna Gladko, a representative of the younger generation of Belarusian artists. The project was completely devoted to the analysis of the artist’s relations with her father. The exhibition represented a series of screens forming a personal museum, displaying objects from the family archive, father’s personal items, as well as created works.

As a child, Zhanna was to her father a kind of Doppelgänger, rather than a person of opposite sex. However, being a Doppelgänger does not mean to share the same identity, gender, and sex. The formation of personality cannot be governed by the single authority. The inevitability of growing-up and the variety of external influences led to a mutual estrangement and regular conflicts with father, turning the child into the Other, an artist.

At the exhibition, Zhanna Gladko presented dozens of works: child photographs and videos, documenting her father teach her using a rifle, fishing and driving a car; documented action, during which she empties her father’s hunting cartridges by spilling out the powder; work on fabric and audio recording where she destroys the verbs in the instructions given by her father; self-portraits in her father’s clothes, and many others. One of the hidden objectives of the artist at the exhibition was inciting a force not only inside herself, but also inside her father, in order to overcome a crisis in their relationships together.

In early 2015, the project was suddenly brought back to attention, when the artist’s father destroyed the piano she used to play as a child. Zhanna Gladko created a new installation at Ў Gallery, featuring a video documenting the destructive act, accompanied by the surviving audio recordings of her playing the instrument, as well as the remaining parts of the piano and a wooden table that her father made out of it.

The project has multiple continuations and transformations. For example: documenting a many day-long action – Gladko becoming a personal assistant and driver for a week, working for Belarusian male artists who have no car and no driving licence. Moreover, a series of photographic self-portraits, problematizing the role of women in contemporary society.

The Inciting Force project presents the “father” subject in a much wider context than merely a personal one, being a work of critical feminist art in Belarus that exists in a patriarchal state system.


Zhanna Gladko (born 1984, Minsk, Belarus) – artist.

Lives and works in Minsk.


Text: Sergey Shabohin, Olga Shparaga, KALEKTAR ©


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