RevolutionizeExhibitions

Revolutionize

Where democracy is under pressure and crisis reigns, alternative participatory models are developed, as evidenced by the recent worldwide gulf of revolts and protest movements. One of the brightest among them was the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine. In times of social and political transitions and disturbances there is an urgent need for art. Not because art can change reality, but because it serves as an ideal tool to visualize and predict changes. Art creates space for reflection and contemplation, where alternative pathways can be imagined and where new, critical perspectives can be developed. Art allows us to ask what we can learn from the recent gulf of protest movements such as the Revolution of Dignity?

Revolutionize’ is an international research and exhibition project that brings together art and museum institutions from Ukraine and the Netherlands. 30 contemporary artists and art groups from 15 countries through the language of installation, painting, multimedia, video and photo speak about the revolutionary events, and analyze the revolution as a social phenomenon. A personal, critical, and retrospective view focuses on a special historical event – the Revolution of Dignity. The exhibition also presents artifacts from the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity collection.

Participants: Francis Alÿs (BE), Lara Baladi (EG), James Beckett (ZA), Maksym Bilousov (UA), Marinus Boezem (NL), Adelita Husni-Bey (IT), Irina Botea (RO), Nazar Bilyk (UA), Latifa Echakhch (MA), Harun Farocki (CZ), Jack Goldstein (CA), Hamza Halloubi (MA), Yuriy Hrytsyna (UA), Iman Issa (EG), Illya Isupov (UA), Alevtina Kakhidze (UA), Lesia Khomenko (UA), Sasha Kurmaz (UA), Dariia Kuzmych (UA), Cristina Lucas (ES), Basim Magdy (EG), Lev Manovich (RU), Olexa Mann (UA), Olaf Nicolai (GE), Maria Plotnikova (UA), Leticia Ramos (BR), Vlada Ralko (UA), Fernando Sanchez Castillo (ES), Wolfgang Tillmans (GE), Mona Vatamanu (RO) &Florin Tudor (RO), Vova Vorotniov (UA), Pavel Wolberg (RU). With the participation of the Planning for Protest, Mystetskyi Barbican, Strike Poster, Piotr Armianovski, Aftermath VR: Euromaidan.

Participants’ and artworks’ diversity is an attempt to  go beyond the already acquired patterns of the Revolution of Dignity perception. ‘Revolutionize’ puts Ukrainian events into a wider world context, presenting simultaneously the uniqueness and universality of certain situations, events and phenomena. The exhibition demonstrates that the aspiration for freedom, decent living standards, respect for citizens are the universal values shared by all people.

The project creates a possibility for visitors to explore, recall, discuss, leave their thoughts about the Revolution of Dignity. The exhibition provides a platform for an open discussion about the role of art and artists during the revolution and the ability/capability to talk about recent historical events in the language of art.

Olesia Ostrovska-Liuta

director general of Mystetskyi arsenal

«The ‘Revolutionize’ exhibition is an attempt to put the Ukrainian experience of protest and revolution into the world context. And to see what can we tell the world and where in the world can we find any similarities. Five years is enough time to start re-thinking our Maidan not only from the point of view of Ukrainian history, but also in a broad world dimension.»

Ihor Poshyvailo

director general of the National Museum of the Revolution of Dignity

«The Revolution of Dignity events, that are at the same time inspiring and demotivating, joyful and tragic, understandable and hard to understand, for millions of Ukrainians have not become history yet. It takes time to figure out, to understand, to heal. But do not forget. ‘Revolutionize’ offers a contemporary art space for new reflections, rethinking, interpretations of our complex past. The artists formed the identity of Euromaidan and were its avant-garde. We hope that within the Mystetskyi arsenal walls visitors will discover unknown dimensions of the Maidan revolutionary element in a broader context, they will feel free and responsible co-authors of our history.»

Kateryna Filyuk

curator of the exhibition

«I could never imagine living in times of revolution and war in my country. Seemingly such important events belong to history and  they can be find in books. Now we are 5 years away from the Revolution of Dignity, and the war in the East is still going on. At the time when history is being created, it seems to me important to look at the Ukrainian revolution through the optics of contemporary art and try to comprehend our own experience through metaphors, generalizations, parallels with other protest movements in different parts of the world. [Of course, the Ukrainian experience is unique, however, it is also inscribed in the global context and resonates with a number of protest movements and revolutionary events that shook the world in the first decades of the twenty-first century.]»

Nathanja van Dijk

curator of the exhibition

«When people in Ukraine took to the squares in 2013, I was in the midst of a research into the position and the possibilities of art in the face of a crisis driven time. The research focused on the recent rise of protest movements; hence I closely followed the events on Maidan. What I learned from working with and within the Ukrainian context in the years that followed, is that art and by extension art museums, are a crucial place to commemorate and simultaneously critically reflect on a historical moment that is unfolding in the present. This is relevant for Ukraine, but also concerns everyone who wants to question the status quo of our contemporary moment and who wants to rewrite the singular, hegemonic narratives with which we describe our present.»

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