Shelter project


Shelter” is an international project started as initiative of SOSka group and proposing to network of artist, historians, sociologists, philosophers, political activists to take part in. “Shelter” is a migrating project which involves new participants in and from different social, political and geographical contexts.

Shelter” was started from the group exhibition by SOSka group (UA),Ilya Budraitskis (RU), Sophie Thun (PL/AT), Adrien Tirtiaux (BE) and Anna Witt (DE) in Kunstverein das weisse haus in Vienna (7.11 – 15.12.2012). During the exhibition was a public talk by Ilya Budraitskis and Mykola Ridnyi and discussion on topic “Can we hide from crisis? Capitalism, Shelters and Escapes”.


In different periods of time political propaganda was producing a social phobia connected with threat of war and a cult of defense. Homemade shelters and public bunkers are the result of social panic which actualizes memories about historical tensions of Cold war and violence of World War II. Underground cellars in cities, on a country side or in forests are the mass phenomenon, combining public fear and private space.

Since that time shelters have been turned into new functions, according to situate necessity, adapted by personal creativity within lack of facilities. In nineties post-soviet area was covered with inflation and economic crisis. Many people lost their salary and started to grow food by themselves. Many bunkers in Ukraine became a stock place for vegetables and preserves. In a context of post-totalitarian Albania, where poverty is mixed with conservative social morality, shelters were used as a secret places for dates.

The WWII left own traces in public space, where is a balance between symbol of protection and attack is really instable. Shame past of Flakturm towers in Vienna which now are under preservation of sites of historic interest was remarked into socially valued spaces like zoo or contemporary art platform. The fact of protection under the former Nazi's military bases and strategy shelters is still controversial.

Artificially from Hitler’s bunker, where he died, this shelter stands as an architectural symbol of a historical moment, showing the fall and dishonorable end of the dictator. Nowadays in modern wars like Iraq war, anti terror war, Libyan civil war and with the increased influence and accessibility of mass media, this symbolic function has even more impact. It is a piece of evidence of the victory over the evil, shared with the whole world through detailed plans, photos and YouTube videos as in the case of recently famous shelters like Saddam Hussein’s, Osama Bin Laden’s or Kaddafi’s.

Shelters in all different countries are phenomena or relicts of mostly dark periods of history or political situations in very specific ways. Throw different situations they keeps a traces of economical and political cataclysms based on reduction of territories, resources and power. (Mykola Ridnyi)

SOSka group "Mushrooms", installation (iron tubes, slideshow), 2012




            Sophie Thun "Bunkers", photography series, 2011

Adrien Tirtiaux "Der siebte Flacturm", video, 2003 - 2005

Anna Witt "Vivos", video, 2012