The exhibition “Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde” opened in BelgiumAbout Us

The exhibition “Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde” opened in Belgium

On March 17, the exhibition “Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde” opened at the FeliX Art & Eco Museum in Drogenbos, Belgium. The exhibition is based on research within the “Futuromarennia” project, implemented by the Mystetskyi Arsenal in 2021-2022.

The exhibition features 100 original works of painting and graphics, including paintings, book designs, and scenic design. Visitors can see works by well-known Ukrainian artists such as David Burliuk, Oleksandra Ekster, Vadym Meller, Viktor Palmov, and Vasyl Yermylov. The exhibition also includes documentary materials and video installations titled “Poem-Painting” and “Our 1920s Executed in 2020s”.

The project “Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde” is implemented by the FeliX Art & Eco Museum of Contemporary Art and the Mystetskyi Arsenal in partnership with the Museum of Theater, Music, and Cinema Arts of Ukraine, the National Art Museum of Ukraine, the Dnipro Art Museum, the Dovzhenko Centre, the National Research Restoration Center of Ukraine, the Central State Archive-Museum of Literature and Art of Ukraine, the Kharkiv Private Museum of Urban Estate, the Lviv Museum of the History of Religion, Valentyna Kostyukova, and Tetiana Kara-Vasylieva.

The exhibition curators, Olha Melnyk and Ihor Oksametny, aimed to describe the artistic vision of the future born on the Ukrainian historical ground of the 1910s-1920s in the context of current events. Special emphasis was put on the appropriation of avant-garde artistic practices by Russian culture and the consequences of Russian military aggression for Ukraine’s cultural heritage.

«“Futuromarennia” scales and changes, but always remains a narrative about Ukraine. We now have a series of subprojects: in Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kyiv, then in KUMU in Estonia, and now — in FeliX Art & Eco Museum in Belgium. We are especially pleased that from today, 100 artworks presented in the exhibition will be out of reach for Russian missiles. Among them, there are well-known names like Kazymyr Malevych or Oleksandra Ekster, misidentified with the so-called great Russian culture. However, this greatness largely relies on the appropriated heritage of colonized territories, as Russia has been appropriating the best for centuries, creating a fake image of its own greatness. Today, we are trying to deconstruct these myths, so that Ukrainian culture can gain subjectivity in the European intellectual space. We thank the team at FeliX Art & Eco Museum for their courage to organize a platform where Ukraine can speak in its own name, for their support, and solidarity», commented the co-curator of the exhibition, Olha Melnyk.

Specifically for the exhibition, FeliX Art & Eco Museum printed a limited edition of the “Futuromarennia” catalog, which was compiled earlier as part of the Kyiv project at the Mystetskyi Arsenal in 2021-2022.

«The exhibition and catalog identity are inspired by typographic techniques of the 1920s and the plasticity of Futurist painting. It’s vital for us to reinterpret our heritage and manifest it in contemporary design, maintaining the continuity of style», says Lera Guievska, the art director of the Mystetskyi Arsenal.

This catalog contains relevant publications by renowned Ukrainian and foreign researchers of futurism. It was printed thanks to the support of FeliX Art & Eco Museum. 400 copies of the catalog will be available to visitors who attend the Ukrainian exhibition from March 17th to September 8th this year.

The catalog is also available for viewing online here.

The exhibition’s official opening was attended by Minister-President and Minister of Culture of Flanders, Jan Jambon, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union, Vsevolod Chentsov, as well as the CEO of the National Lottery, which supported the project, Mr. Jannie Haek.

The exhibition in Belgium will run until September 8, 2024.

Curators: Olha Melnyk, Ihor Oksametny, with the participation of Viktoria Velychko.
Exhibition design: Lera Guievska.
Graphic design: Kostyantyn Martsenkivskyi.

Previously, the exhibition “Futuromarennia: Ukraine and the Avant-Garde” was presented at the KUMU Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia.