Study War

sketchbook, diary excerpts, 2022

Мutated “Bestiary”

from the “Monuments” series (2020-…); created during the “Navigation” program, Jam Factory, Lviv, 2023

Maze. Infinite Return

from the “Monuments” series (2020-…), cement-lime plaster relief; created for the “How the River Roars” exhibition, Krupa Art Foundation, Wroclaw, Poland, 2023

We Were Here

total installation, plastered room, from the “Monuments” series (2020-…), OSRZ-2, Odesa, 2022

Mournful Surf

graphics, watercolor, pen, 9 A3 sheets, Odesa-Lviv, 2023


The diary notebook has always been and remains the main medium in my practice due to its constant availability. It is the practice that borders between the artistic and the mundane. It is an action of gathering and assembling contemporary “people’s folklore” into a collection of “pearls” (2019-2022). After February 24, 2022, a new series of diaries titled Study of War began, which witnessed and documented the first processes of transformation and loss of “ordinary life” (Still life).

During my time at the abandoned ship repair factory in Odesa (OSRZ-2), I began working on projects that concerned space around me. This experience significantly influenced my artistic practice towards site-specific and situational art. As a result, it started a large Eco-Renaissance series that opened with The Air Book project on July 5, 2020. The series unfolded further through the set of performances titled The Earth Book a collaboration with Ilya Todurkin, and a situational underwater exhibition-action within the territory of OSRZ-2, entitled The Water Book.

The Fire Book emerged as my first creative project after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. This book serves as a documentation of different levels of stress, loss, trauma, experiences, relocation, tragedy, and mourning. “The book” is a collection of white textile works, performances, and video essays. One of these works is Mara, a monumental dress that metaphorically represents immeasurable grief while also embodying “the one that saves from the flood,” as per a character in local legend.

My first short film, Intermezzo, was produced at the end of 2022 and was based on drawings from my diaries of the same year. Essentially, this film is a record of the performance. During the residency, I created and erased drawings daily in the sterile room of an abandoned tobacco factory. I was recording my short stay on a sunny island in Italy in a cold room. It was the deprivation of the present as a result of experiencing war from a distance. This room became a metaphor for “life on pause,” a surreal horror tale.

Since March 8, 2022, I have been based and living in Lviv. In my project Mutated “Bestiary”, I reveal the consequences of relocation: mutation, interference, loneliness, wandering, invasiveness, creation of new psychogeographical paths, and the search for “one’s own not in one’s own”. This project was created as part of the Jam Factory’s Navigation program. It consists of 32 “tiles” that were placed along the streets of Lviv and a zine map.

The same Monuments series includes a large plaster relief titled Maze. Infinite Return. This work captures the impossibility of return, wandering, and derealization on the one hand, and the realization that the place you were moving from no longer exists on the other.

My practice currently focuses on the study of memory. I work with remembrances, monuments, concepts of liminality, mimesis, and honoring traditions. It is also connected with immersion in my Odesa context, researching Odesa conceptualism. Two weeks before the invasion, I was preparing my final work at OSRZ-2, a room-monument We Were Here. Part of the project was my studio, the “green room,” which was concreted: it became a “dead nature.” Active military operations and new horrific changes began to bring new points of interpretation to this project, which led to the thesis Monument of Still Life that I still pursue.

Yuri Leiderman used to say that in Odesa, all roads lead to the sea. Now, it seems that all my thoughts lead to Odesa. Mournful Surf represents a shoreline of the “dead” sea, a work created after my visit to Odesa in June 2023 to attend my grandmother’s funeral, shortly after the Kakhovka hydroelectric power station was blown up by russians.”

The text was written in cooperation with Alya Segal (2024).

The statement was created within the Secondary Archive project and was first presented on March 15, 2024.

Secondary Archive

Artist’s Bio

Dasha Chechushkova – born in 1999 in Odesa, Dasha graduated from the Grekov Odesa Art School in 2018, Department of Painting. She then pursued her studies at the Kyiv National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture, initially in the Department of Graphic Arts before transferring to the Faculty of Theory and History of Art from 2019 to 2023. In her artistic practice, Dasha works with total installations, creating a “situation” that she terms as “co-existence” and “co-event”, using various media, where her diary-notebook appears as the central element. From 2020 to 2022, she was an active member and co-founder of a creative community at OSRZ-2, an abandoned ship repair factory in Odesa. This period significantly influenced her and developed the artistic theme of situational, fragile art in the context of “co-existence” with another.

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