“TERRAIN ORIENTATION” National Art Museum of Ukraine, 2013

It may seem that the world around us has long been known and described. In fact, it is still waiting for the artistic interpretation. Consider the main paradox of globalization: the more unified the world, the more important for it are distinctions and landscapes as meeting points of spaces and events. While the twentieth century…

The art project “Terrain Orientation” represents the contemporary Ukrainian space with its truths and fictions, dreams and reality, beautiful nature and consequences of its helpless use, with traces of distant and recent past, which are still present in nowadays, reflecting in the public consciousness. Through paintings, drawings, photo and video the project invites the audience to the dialog about “the most important thing”: our country in past and present, fixed in natural and man-made landscape around us. History unfolds itself in space, thus the landscape is social. Moreover, it is changing constantly, creating new loci, and new territories of high voltage, where “we read time in space”.

Ukrainian landscape is a history, geography and politics. It arises from the mosaics of cultural stereotypes, public discussions, individual visions and social contradictions. The main slogan of our time – “East and West together” (North and South should be added here) – captures the problem of the country, where each region has its own historical experience and challenging present. After all, Ukraine even today remains unknown and mysterious both for citizens of the world and its own residents. It is yet to unravel; its hidden symbolical messages are to be decoded. And here again “geography” turns to politics. The current strategic choice of the country “between the East and West” is a choice of the future, of the way of further progress that somehow reflects in the fate of every person. Thus not only Ukraine, “a young state with great historical past”, should “orient itself in space”, but also every one of us should.

The participants of the project are well-known and young Ukrainian artists of various trends. Their vision of the world around them is emotional and analytical, critical and ironical, but always personal and concerned. Their art is of many meanings, bright, open for reflections and discussions, and able to overcome illusions of informational noise, addressing its language to each viewer.

Halyna Skliarenko, Ph.D in Art History.

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