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27.04.2012 – 26.08.2012
Myth "Ukrainian Baroque"
Curator: Galyna Skliarenko, Oksana Barshynova
Myth "Ukrainian Baroque"
“Central epoch in spiritual history of Ukraine” (as Dmytro Chyzhevskyi described it), Baroque has not only expressed itself in architecture, painting and graphic arts, but also started a wide tradition in art that maintained actual in the works of art of XX and XXI centuries. Baroque has given new dimensions of time and space, new perception of a human being in immense Cosmos that broadens changes and transforms constantly, and these new features generated special “postcatastrophic” outlook and existential tension that turned out to be consonant with contemporary outlook which is nourished by modern social, political and technological cataclysms. So it is a regularity that Baroque stands as a special type of culture and is reproduced in modern media age, which virtual dimension is very similar to those admirations of space infinity that was typical for Baroque times.
Baroque indeed has determined main archetypes of Ukrainian culture, national outlook and aesthetical preferences. Its “presence” can be sensed in art of modernism and avant-gardes, in paradoxes of socialist realism, in “searching of vividness”, that determined the main tendency of Ukrainian painting of XX century and their re-comprehension in the works of “new wave”… Baroque rises and falls, irony and tension, inclination to dramatization and decorativeness are firmly intertwined with contemporary “society of the spectacle” and its PR-technologies and mind manipulations which become the sphere of creative comprehension for modern artists. Baroque in Ukraine is not only a struggle for freedom and Cossack knighthood, but also the age of the Ruin, of the tragedy of civic opposition, of defeat and loss. It is a “life in dreams” that until now stands on the ways of critical analysis. Baroque in Ukraine is also the time of the choice “between the East and the West”, the revaluation of the past and the time of assertion of the New as an important category of culture. Therefore, the Baroque era continues, and along with it continues the dialogue of the past and the present which is the mechanism of the cultural advancement. The comprehension of the Baroque experience and its reflections in culture and art is the purpose of this project, especially when indestructible vitality in spite of all the paradoxes and controversies remains the main component of Ukrainian Baroque.
The project tries to reconsider conceptually the history of Ukrainian art and rests upon analysis and research. It is the first fundamental attempt to analyze Ukrainian artistic experience through “the Baroque ground”. Curators: Halyna Skliarenko, the Candidate of Art History and Senior Research Fellow of M. Rylskyi Institute of Art History, Folklore Studies and Ethnology and the Contemporary Art Insitute, Oksana Barshynova, the Head of the Department of the XXth – the beginning of the XXIst century of the National art Museum of Ukraine. Designers: Iryna Pasichnyk, Masha Kulikovska