The International Exhibition “Notes on Space”

Notes on Space

Disclaimer: All exhibitions were scheduled to open April 23-26 during Odesa Photo Days 2020, but the situation have changed due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Keep up with the festival news.

Partner location — Museum of Odessa Modern Art.

We create, rearrange and destroy spaces we inhabit, throughout our whole life. Houses, workplaces or streets and public squares are the material environment we influence on. However, they also shape our behaviour: tell us where and how to go, teach us values and hierarchies dominant in a society or a class we belong to. In that terms, it is no surprise that the notions of ‘building’ and ‘construction’ are never limited to the physical matter. We build houses and relationships, monuments but also identities, spatial order and political order. We built past memories and will build the future ones.

Notes on Space aims to shed light on different elements of this entangled relation. From the playfulness and creativity of children, creating imaginary spaces from given elements, to the very instrumental role subscribed to the construction workers. And from the abstract interactions with surroundings, to the ideologically saturated, artificial suburban neighbourhoods. Space was and is politicised, gender-biased, and might be even more so in the future, if we fill it with artificial intelligence, fuelled by biased data collected in the past and present. But even today we see our cities, towns and villages changing due to politicians will, ideology or huge private investments, tearing apart what was once public and common. Is it the time to take back our own creative forces?

Artists: Gustavo Balbela, David Barreiro, Caroline Kolkman, Carola Lampe, Sara Perovic

Curator: Tytus Szabelski — photographer and visual artist. Graduated journalism and social communication on Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Poland, and photography at the University of Art in Poznań, where he conducts his doctoral studies. He worked with Center of Contemporary Art in Toruń, Miłość Gallery in Toruń and ‘Krytyka Polityczna’ magazine. Laureate of Konrad Pustoła memory scholarship for socially engaged photographer (2017). Former editor of ‘Magenta’, online magazine dedicated to contemporary photography, now editor of ‘Postmedium’ art academic journal.


Challenging and eclectic, contemporary photography defies boundaries and definition. Once a cultural object, photography then became a cultural-social-artistic practice which engages a wide range of aesthetics, technologies and actors, most of them overlapping and intersecting. All this diversity was instrumental in inspiring the creation of PARALLEL.

PARALLEL is a platform that brings together creative European organizations committed
to promoting cross-cultural exchanges and mentorships in order to set new standards in contemporary photography. Members include museums, galleries, cultural centres, festivals, art schools and publishers – 18 of the most vibrant European cultural hubs, from 16 different countries, that will participate in selecting and hosting emerging artists and curators, organizing exhibitions and promoting artistic networking.

PARALLEL is designed and led by and co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

Cover photo: David Barreiro.