Elena Subach

Elena Subach (1980) is a Ukrainian visual artist and photographer. Born in Chervonohrad, Ukraine. Currently based in Lviv, Ukraine.

Elena studied economics and received her master`s degree in Volyn State University in Ukraine before she turned to photography. In an auto-didactic way, she developed her own unique vision on Ukrainian visual culture.

In her artistic practice, Elena is concerned with questioning religion, tradition, the construction of history and the consequences of soviet colonial pasts. Since 2018, Elena has developed these ideas in her project on Grandmothers on the Edge of Heaven, for which she is researching and photographing crowded religious celebrations and ceremonies in Ukraine. The urge to show this rich Ukrainian heritage through an artistic eye is present in everything she captures and the inspiration she gets from her motherland is endless.

Personal exhibitions

2023 — “Hidden” at Palazzo Zuccari, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome (Italy)

2022 — "Subach / Poliakov / 2022" in Szara gallery, in scope of Друг друга / Druh Druha — Ukrainian art in galleries of Warsaw (PL)

2020 — Posters on walls of Hamburg, Galerie 21 im Künstlerhaus Vorwerkstift

2019 — Heroic Trip, Szara gallery (Katowice, Poland)

2019 — City of Gardens, EEP Berlin

2018 — Subach / Poliakov, The Naked Room gallery (Kyiv)

2016 — Taxidermia with Periscope group (Lviv)

2014 — Retablos de Galicia, Dzyga gallery (Lviv)


2022 — Hidden / Сховане by Besides Press, UK

Selected collections

Victoria & Albert Musem (UK)

MOCA (Ukraine)

Museum of Kharkiv School of Photography (Ukraine)

Selected group exhibitions

2024 — “Generations of Resilience” at Hangar Photo Art Center (Brussels, Belgium)

2024 — "Home Beyond the Dawn" at MUSA (Museum of the Arts) University of Guadalajara (Mexico)

2024 — “Contra Spem Spero. Storie dall Ucraina”
@ Museo Civico di Bari (Italy)
@ Centro Internazionale di Fotografia (Palermo, Italy)

2023 — “How Did I Get To The Bombshelter”
@ Mark Rothko Art Centre (Latvia)
@ Nordic House, Reykjavik (Iceland)
@ Ukraine House in Denmark (Copenhagen)
@ Klaipėdos kultūrų komunikacijų centro (KKKC) (Lithuania)

2023 — “Crossing Lines. Politics of Images” at Foto Arsenal Wien (FOTO WIEN 2023, Austria)

2023 — "Our years, our words, our losses, our search, our us" at Jam Factory Art Center (Lviv, Ukraine)

2023 — "How River Roars" at Krupa Art Foundation (Wrocław, Poland)

2023 — "Are you okay? Ти як?" at Ukrainian House (Kyiv, Ukraine)

2023 — ‘Home’ by Open Eye Gallery (London, UK) and Ukrainian.Photographies

2023 — The Art of Coping with War, Museum für Kommunikation, Berlin

2023 — Ukraine. Work-in-Progress, KVOST, Berlin

2023 — Riga Photography Biennial ‘NEXT 2023!’

2022–23 — Tell Them About Battles, Meteors and Eggplant Caviar
@ Galerie Le Carré d’Art, Culturel Pôle Sud, Chartres de Bretagne (FR)
@ Simultania, Strasbourg, FR
@ Claude Cahun Center (Nantes, France)

2022 — “Незридані сльози [nezrydani slʹozy] UNGEBORENE TRÄNEN” (= UNBORN TEARS), Galerie Judith Andreae (Bonn, DE)

2022 — “We are no longer feel the Future” in MUZA — Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv)

2022 — #UKRAINE IMAGES OF WAR, Photo Elysee Museum of Photography, Lausanne (Swiss)

2022 — "Death and the Maiden - Der Tod und das Mädchen", Kunstforum Wien (Austria)

2022 — “In Ukraine” at the Gallery at Dobbin Mews (New York)

2022-10 — “Stand with Ukraine” is the scope of Photaumnales festival (#19 Cartographies) in Palace Saint-Etienne (Beauvais, FR) by Diaphane photographic centre

2022–09 — The Cockerel with Black Wings: A Recovered Heirloom. Group exhibition in the framework of viennacontemporary STATEMENT UKRAINE

2022-05 — With Ukraine at Hinterconti gallery, Hamburg (DE)

2022 — "Foreboding Landscape" by Odessa Photo Days, series of exhibitions:
@ La Chambre in Strasburg (FR)
@ Palais de Tokyo in the frame of The Parliament of Photography, Paris
@ Fotofestival Lodz (PL)

2022 — "Unfolding Landscapes", series of exhibitions:
@ Art Centre Silkeborg Bad (Denmark)
@ Art & History Museum Brussels
@ KunstZeugHaus (Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland)

2022 — ”Slava Ukraini” at Czwartek gallery (Warsaw)

2022 — Secondary Archive by Katarzyna Kozyra Foundation

2021 — "Sensitivity. Contemporary Ukrainian photography" at Mystetskyi Arsenal (Kyiv)

2021 — Odesa Photo Days festival, main exhibition “Who is next to you?”, Museum of Odesa Modern Art

2020 — Staged Realities, Outdoor Exhibition by OSTLOOK+EEP Berlin. Part of "POSTWEST \\ guess where" at Transcultural Festival, Volksbühne Berlin

2019 — Woven Matter at Unseen (Amsterdam)

2019 — Between Fire and Fire: Ukrainian Art Now. By Ukrainian Institute at Semperdepot (Wien)

2019 — "Let’s Talk About Modernity" by Fundacja Tadeusza Kantora at Jam Factory (Lviv)

2019 — "Ukrainian Cross-Section" (Український Зріз) at Triennale of Contemporary Art (Lviv)

2019 — Inny, Obcy, Swoi at Labirynt gallery (Lublin, Poland)

2019 — Fotofestival Lodz (Poland)

2019 — Fotoart Festival (Bielsko-Biala, Poland)

2019 — II Biennale of Young Ukrainian Art (Kharkiv, Ukraine)

2019 — "How to deal with history" by Ostlook platform at Kolga Tbilisi Photo Festival (Georgia)

2018 — "Somewhere now" (Tam gdzie teraz) in Galerię Labirynt (Lublin, Poland)

2018 — Circulations Festival (Paris)

2017 — The Festival of Young Ukrainian Artists at Mysteskyi Arsenal (Kyiv)

2017 — "Knowns-Unknowns. Lviv photography after the year 2000" Ludwik Zamenhof Centre during Białystok Interphoto Festival (Białystok, Poland)

2017 — Ostrale Biennale (Dresden, Germany)

2017 — EASTStreet 4. Photo festival (Lublin, Poland)

2016 — The Boutographies — Rencontres Photographiques de Montpellier, slideshow (France)

2016 — "Elementary Manipulation" exhibition at Ukrainian Week in Gdansk (Poland)

2016 — "Galicia Cult: Western Ukrainian Art" at Yermilov Centre (Kharkiv)

2016 — Odesa-Batumi Photodays festival (Batumi, Georgia; Odesa, Ukraine)

2016 — Group "Group" exhibition at WBA gallery (Wroclaw, Poland)

2016 — "Strolls With Pleasure And Not Without Moral", Group "Group" exhibition at Ya Gallery (Dnipro, Ukraine)

2016 — Performative curatorial exhibition by Lars Willumeit and Der Greif Magazine during Krakow Photomonth Open Weekend (Krakow, Poland)

2016 — "Saving the Bridge" project by Urban SOYC. Photography, installation (Henychesk, Ukraine)

2015 — Gogol Fest (Kyiv, Ukraine)

2015 — "Dnipro Alternative Art Guide" book by SvitArt gallery, photography for publication (Dnipro, Ukraine)

2015 — Project Cell|One|Fication / Paul Celan Festival at Shteinbarg gallery. Performance, video, installation (Chernivtsi, Ukraine)

2015 — EASTStreet 3. Photo festival, open call finalists exhibition (Lublin, Poland)

2014 — Terra-Futura festival (Kherson, Ukraine)

2015 — "Stops" exibition (Subach, Cherneha, Poliakov) at Chernihiv Municipal Musem (Chernihiv, Ukraine)

2014 — London Analog Festival, open call finalists exhibition (London, UK)

2014 — "She" project (Maria Voynova, Mariana Klochko, Marta Shwets, Taisiya Raynyk) at Bastion Gallery (Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine)

Awards & mentions

2022 — "Ones to watch" by The British Journal of Photography

2019 — Participant of Futures Platform

2019 — Gaude Polonia scholarship by National Centre for Culture Poland

2019 — Shortlisted to Gomma Grant

2019 — Fotofestival Lodz Grand Prix finalist

2016 — New East Photo Prize Bigmag Special Prize and grant winner