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Module of Temporality: don’t Take Fake opens a cultural space in Kyiv

In February, MOT, a new project by the don’t Take Fake team, will open on Kontraktova Square in Kyiv. It is a two-story temporary cultural space made of 27 containers-modules, where works of international and Ukrainian artists will be shown for three months. The goal of the project is to draw even more attention to Ukraine and to raise funds for the restoration of cultural institutions damaged by Russian aggression.

DTF Magazine tells more about what is special about MOT, which of the great artists have joined the project, how the space will look like and how to get there

MOT architectural concept

So what is MOT?

MOT stands for Module of Temporality. The name already includes the theme of both the project and the exhibition that will take place there — temporality.

The don’t Take Fake team explains that MOT is “an attempt to capture the fluidity of life and time in art, as well as to show its uncertainty and at the same time support the desire of all who remain in Ukraine to continue to live, create and fight”.

“We want to show the world that even during war and under constant threats, Ukraine is not only rethinking its past and fighting for the present but also imagining the future, in particular the cultural one of the country”.

MOT interior concept

The idea for the project came to the team in July 2022, and the focus on culture and art was formed organically thanks to the background of don’t Take Fake

MOT’s goal is to use art and culture to draw the world’s attention to Ukraine and the cultural projects that are underway in the country despite the war.

“We live in a time when artistic responses to events have an impact on millions of people. Art is a universal language, — the MOT team explains. — You don’t have to speak French, Portuguese or Korean to understand an artist born in another country. But each of them can be heard by the whole world and help others to be heard”. 

When don’t Take Fake started working on Module of Temporality, they brought in two other teams: CREVV design studio, which developed the visual language and logo for MOT, and balbek bureau, whose team was responsible for the architectural concept and interior design.

What is the peculiarity of the space

MOT is a two-story, 417-square-meter structure made of 27 metal containers-modules. They can be disassembled, transported and reassembled in less than 10 days. MOT can hold up to 100 people at a time.

The space contains several different sized rooms. Due to the low ceiling (which in some modules does not exceed 2.3 meters), MOT retains a certain sense of pressure and discomfort — something that people experience when hiding in shelters during an air raid. The main exhibition space is an open space with a height of more than 4 meters.

MOT construction process

Who worked on the architectural form?

The idea for the container construction emerged in 2011. A year later, Ukrainian architect Slava Balbek began to design and build it. According to the original plan, it should be a multifunctional space that can be transported and installed at different locations. Containers were specially manufactured at Illichivsk ship repair plant, and the basis was assembled in Mykolaiv. However, the project was soon frozen.

In 2022 don’t Take Fake bought the containers from the previous private owner and invited Balbec to join the creation of MOT, developing a new architectural concept and the interior of the space. So 10 years later, Slava had already returned to the container structure with his own architectural bureau, having almost completely redesigned the original project.

Interior concept of MOT. The main hall of the space

In eight months of work, balbek bureau, in cooperation with the don’t Take Fake technical team, transformed a set of containers into a full-fledged room equipped with autonomous systems for lighting, heating, ventilation, and drainage. In the interior and some of the furniture they used, in particular, sheet steel from the Mariupol ‘Azovstal’ and Illich Steel and Iron Works, which were destroyed in the battles for Mariupol.

The location can work autonomously during long blackouts.

What will be inside?

About the exhibition

The core of Module of Temporality is an exhibition space that will open Feb. 10 with paintings, sculptures, installations and audiovisual works by 28 artists from 10 countries.

The exhibition was curated by Fabrice Bousteau, a French art critic, curator, and editor-in-chief of Beaux Arts magazine, who has been writing about French and global art for 25 years. Fabrice has worked on many contemporary art projects, notably the Paris-Delhi-Bombay exhibition at the Centre Pompidou dedicated to Indian and French artists, and is also an advisor to the urban project Le Grand Pari, which aims to reform Paris.

“MOT will bring together established and emerging artists; painting, sculpture, street art and installations. At the same time, it was organized in less than four months under atypical conditions. It takes us on an intense and sensual journey with a theme of ‘Temporality’ that captures the fluidity of the present moment” is how the curatorial team, led by Bousteau, describes the exhibition.

MOT interior concept. Information zone

The big names of the world art scene will take part in the exhibition at Module of Temporality. Among Ukrainians are Zhanna Kadyrova, Volodymyr Manzhos (WAONE), Maria Kulikovska, Roman Minin, Oleksiy Kondakov and Nikita Kravtsov. Among the international artists — French artists JR and Zevs, street artist Vhils — author of the Kyiv mural depicting Serhiy Nigoyan, American sculptor Mark Jenkins, South Korean multidisciplinary artist KIMSOOJA, Indian avant-garde artist Subodh Gupta and Los Angeles-based artist Cleon Peterson. Also, the New York duo Soundwalk Collective will present a new audiovisual project, with a poem written and read by Patti Smith, and many others. A full list of participants can be found on the space’s website.

After the completion of the project, the MOT team plans to organize a charity auction. It will feature some of the works featured in the space exhibition, as well as other works by the featured artists. Detailed information about the auction will be published later.

MOT interior concept

Not just an exhibition.

What else will be presented at MOT

Special events. MOT will also be a venue for film screenings, in collaboration with Dovzhenko Centre, as well as for performances, lectures, and discussions.

Part of the space will be a gift store. There will be not only museum merch, but also collaborations. The MOT team created a series of limited collections in collaboration with Ukrainian artists and brands, including m0d44, O(FourFour), Broq, Pilsok, Woolkrafts and others.

“The items represented on the shelves were created in Ukraine during a full-scale war, under conditions of constant blackouts and business shutdowns. For us these are not so much goods as the embodiment of the endurance of Ukrainian business and the fixation of time in physical objects that complement the project”.

We will tell you more about the collaboration in a separate article in a special section devoted to MOT.

MOT architectural concept

The DTF Magazine collector’s print issue will be published specially for the project. It will continue to explore the theme of the exhibition, namely temporality.

In addition to articles, interviews, essays, and diaries, the magazine is based on the work of Ukrainian artists. Thus, the editors of DTF Magazine want to present the art and reflection of those who are in a state of temporality and uncertainty.

On the pages of the publication you can see the works of almost 30 artists from different cities of Ukraine, who work in different directions — painting, graphics, lithography, photography, sculpture. Almost each of the presented works was created during the year 2022 and is a story of personal experience and reflection of the new reality in which the country found itself after February 24.

Some of the works were created by artists while under occupation. In addition to the stories of Ukrainians, publications are being prepared about the experiences of other countries, particularly Afghanistan and Syria.

What is it all for?

The purpose of MOT is not only to draw attention to cultural processes in Ukraine, but also to help restore cultural sites damaged or destroyed as a result of Russian aggression.

How does it work? The organizers accumulate the proceeds from ticket sales, as well as all the profits from the gift store and the proceeds from the auction as a separate monetary fund. 100% of these funds will be donated for the restoration of Ukrainian art institutions, monuments and museums without wasting resources on operating expenses. Thus, every guest who will buy a ticket, anything at the gift store, or participate in the auction will automatically join in replenishing the fund and will help in the restoration of culture.

The number of projects the team will be able to support will depend on the final amount raised and the needs of the institutions at the end of the fundraiser. The list of institutions will be compiled by the team together with experts from the field of culture — reports on all expenditures will be published in the project’s social networks.

Architect Slava Balbek
don’t Take Fake co-founders Dmytro Sobol and Taras Yevtushenko

How to get in?

MOT opens Feb. 17 and will be open seven days a week for three months, until May 14: from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.

Entrance until 7 p.m., on a first-come, first-served basis. The recommended ticket price is 200 UAH. However, each visitor will choose the amount he or she is willing to pay for admission, similar to the random donation system, or will be able to enter for free. All payment methods for the ticket are welcomed: cash, card or payment with cryptocurrency provided by WhitePay service.

Special events, which can only be accessed with paid tickets available on the MOT website, will begin at 7 p.m. The program is announced on the website, the project’s social media channels and on DTF Magazine.

You’re not in Kyiv, but you want to visit MOT? The don’t Take Fake team and Sensorama Lab with the support of Europe’s largest cryptocurrency exchange WhiteBIT will bring Module of Temporality to the metaverse, where a detailed 3D tour of the exhibition will be available. The organizers promise to tell about the mechanics and launch soon.

Who made MOT possible

DTF Agency (don’t Take Fake) invested in the purchase of containers and construction of Module of Temporality and is implementing the project with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). MOT was made possible thanks to the support of the Ukrainian cryptocurrency exchange WhiteBIT, as well as with the assistance of the Office of the President of Ukraine.

“While working on the project, we met many like-minded people among Ukrainian and international businesses, who contributed to the realization of MOT and became our partners, — DTF Agency team notes. — Among them are GoodWine, Reynaers, Ajax, Bigmedia, MEGOGO, 24 print, Sensorama, 16on9. And, of course, once again, the balbek bureau and the CREVV design studio”.

Design partner —
Development — Mixis