Visions of Ukraine
At two venues, online and in the cinema space (FilmBox) of Museum Folkwang, Visions of Ukraine presents works by: Jana Bachynska, Uli Golub, Yarema Malashchuk and Roman Himey, Dana Kavelina, Alina Kleytman, Daniil Revkovskiy and Andriy Rachinskiy, R.E.P., Mykola Ridnyi, Anna Scherbyna, Fantastic Little Splash, as well as one contribution that brings together a range of anonymous amateur videographers.
Opening of Online Exhibition: 13.05.22
Opening at Museum Folkwang, FilmBox: 20.05.22
CURATORIAL STATEMENT. MYKOLA RIDNYI
Ukraine has experienced numerous major and tragic events over the last thirty years, including two revolutions (2004 and 2013) and, since 2014, a war that is currently experiencing a new phase of escalation with the Russian invasion. Constant suffering and the will for emancipation characterize the conditions under which Ukrainian society lives. Social and political contrast is typical for the various levels of the young and developing state, where self-organization struggles with corruption, human rights movements are faced with conservative forces, and now the entire country is united in solidarity to battle Russian imperialistic aggression. In this context, Visions of Ukraine presents a selection of works by Ukrainian artists and filmmakers which were developed over the last decade with a high degree of sensitivity to the problems mentioned. The exhibition consists of two chapters, each of which pursues a different approach to the perception and experience of the present in Ukraine.
In the chapter PERFORMING TRAUMA, CONFLICT AND UTOPIA, artists create connections between the past and the present, on which the visions of the future of individuals and of the country as a whole depend. Issues surrounding the instrumentalization of the past for the sake of modern politics, the historical trauma, and traumas of everyday life run through the works. The artists either act as protagonists themselves, provide spoken commentary, or employ work with invited groups of people using the methods of provocation, cosplaying, and re-enactment. Some have a try at the role of a migrant worker, a political radical, or a conformist. Others represent communities proposing utopian alternatives for the future.
At the other extreme is war as the collective cause of the tragedy and its visual testimony. The chapter RAW CUT OF WAR raises the question of how one can perceive the war in a deluge of information that is often the subject of political manipulation. How shall we talk about violence without being tempted to sensationalize it? On the one hand, the war is filmed both by victims and executioners, and on the other framed by narration in the media; in both cases, however, it is a filter through which we perceive reality and for which we have to develop critical reflection.
A free publication is published as part of the exhibition.