"Crowd. Day"

Zhanna Kadyrova

Year of realization: 2015

Technique: glass, newspapers

Size: 140 x 600 cm

On 16 March 2014, the Crimea voted in an unlawful referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. One year after this dramatic event that deeply influenced the world’s geopolitical situation, on 16 March 2015, Zhanna Kadyrova collected newspapers from around the world. She used them to create a 6-metre-long panoramic collage, cutting out all faces of people, re-composing them and juxtaposing persons of different social status, political position or religion side by side within the original frame of the newspaper page.

Losing all reference to text or language apart from the names of the papers, which “frame” the crowds in a geographical culture context, each collage becomes a representation of a mass of people, with the installation in its entirety representing the portrait of a crowd. The work also investigates the differences and unifying features of the global mass media. By choosing newspapers from a single day, Kadyrova traces the international attention granted to Ukraine and its conflict, exploring the power and responsibility of media and focusing on how “man” is represented in different countries. In a time of worldwide social unrest, where people everywhere take to the streets for change, Kadyrova presents us with an unruly crowd, anonymous, multicultural and shared.

“It is obvious that changes which take place in a country strongly affect its citizens. Still the main hopes are connected to the people. We observe how society is being transformed in extreme situations, when powerful resources of humanity are manifested in people – mutual aid, self-organization, unselfishness. Therefore, the hope of building a civil society remains.”

Zhanna Kadyrova