The history of Ukrainian media art resembles a dotted line that only in recent has come to resemble a continuous narrative. As far back as in the middle of the 2000s, early Ukrainian media-art works existed only on VHS. Thus, to form a comprehensive image of Ukrainian art and to know whether it exists at all, it was necessary to collect hundreds of personal stories and memories, unsorted documents and files. [De][Re]Construction is the first retrospective representation of Ukrainian media art in the format of exhibition.
This project represents Ukrainian media art not so much chronologically as through the topics identified as characteristic of Ukrainian artists in the course of work with the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art. Some of these topics, like, for instance, Krytyka TB (Criticizing TV) or loop and glitch techniques go hand in hand with global media art trends, while others, like postmodernist citation of silent films in the 1990s, might be a distinctive feature of Ukrainian media art. The spatial arrangement of exhibition blockshints at somewhat chronological representation. Thus, the project opens with Eros and Thanatos and [Optical] Illusions, the topics typical of early Ukrainian media art, and ends with War and Revolution. However, the blocks themselves contain works created in the 1990s, as well as in the 2000s, so it is possible to conclude that certain topics remained burning for Ukrainian society (like, for instance, blocks with works dedicated to people with special needs those made in homage to Malevich).
It is extremely significant that the first retrospective exhibition of Ukrainian media art will be held abroad, and there are several reasons for that: the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art is an independent research initiative that has been founded by a couple of enthusiasts; Ukraine doesn’t have any institution that could support steady development of new media art; there’re no Ukrainian institutions of higher education in arts that have media art departments or at least contemporary art departments.
The organizers of [De][Re]Construction hope that the project to be presented as a part of Ukrainian profile in Wroclaw will draw the attention of international professional art community and general public to the issue of Ukrainian media art and its need for being represented, studied and supported in Ukraine.
Curators: Andriy Linik, Ianina Prudenko
The exhibition will be centered around the collection of the Open Archive of Ukrainian Media Art that is an independent initiative by curator IaninaPrudenko.
*The archive includes pieces of Ukrainian media art from independent archives of Ukrainian artists and curators ‒ Oleksandr Soloviov, Natalia Mandzhaliy, Myroslav Kulchytsky, Bohdan Shumylovych, and Archive’s partners ‒CSM, TOTEM, Museum of Contemporary Art in Odessa, Kharkiv Municipal Gallery.