If not now, when?

House of World Cultures (H.K.W.)
Video / Animation / VFX
13:40 / loop

Contribution to the exhibition: As Though We Hid the Sun in a Sea of Stories 20.10.2023 – 14.01.2024

At a moment when most political concepts fail, Anton Kats takes inspiration from the protagonists of Ukrainian Cosmism such as Fedir Tetyanych to address the tragedy and traumas of war. His new film If not now, when? takes the form of past-life recollections of two characters who meet sudden death in the aftermath of the explosion at the Kakhovka Dam and the ongoing shelling of the Kherson Shipyard by Russian forces.

Walking through a series of otherworldly portals, both characters — a fisherman and a welder — repeatedly transition between death and rebirth. As they find themselves in new bodies, the two souls walk through different worlds carried through the sonic space by the voice of the narrator and shadowed by a witness.

Embracing transmigration as an operational mode the artist draws on the complex geopolitical context of both Ukrainian cities amidst invasion to explore the potentialities of a practice “after hope”.


The Voice – Susanne Sachsse
Manuela – Ligia Lewis
Cinematographer – Joanna Piechotta
First Camera Assistant – Micaela Masetto
Assistant – Nina Cavalcanti
Structural Design by Byron Kalomamas
Light Technicians – Bastian Heide and Niklas Bischoff
VFX by RGBalpha
Colour grading by DwiiK
Masks by Anastasia Pilepchuk
Voice Recording by Jared Meier-Klodt
Mixing by Victor Kurando
Mastering by Eugene “Diggidon” Don
Translation by Nikita Tsyganok
Editorial Text – Timur Zolotoev
Special thanks to See You Rent, Berlin

As Though We Hid the Sun in a Sea of Stories is curated by Cosmin Costinas and co-conceptualised with Iaroslav Volovod, Nikolay Karabinovych, Saodat Ismailova and Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon.

Supported by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe