Zhytomyr. Cinema Zhovten

It May Be Art

27.10.2018 – 04.11.2018

The project It May Be Art is an attempt to outline the problem with the definition of Soviet monumental art as the cultural heritage of modern Ukraine. The authors of the project aspire to create an open platform for the common inquiry on the possibility of coexistence of distinct layers of history and culture today. They also insist on the necessity of critical reflection instead of negation and oblivion.

Exhibition Zhytomyr Cinema Zhovten

The project It May Be Art is an attempt to outline the problem with the definition of Soviet monumental art as the cultural heritage of modern Ukraine. The authors of the project aspire to create an open platform for the common inquiry on the possibility of coexistence of distinct layers of history and culture today. They also insist on the necessity of critical reflection instead of negation and oblivion.

The project concentrates on the public objects and the artworks of Zhytomyr region that were created in the 1960-1980s. It illuminates their present ambiguous position and asks the questions about their past and future that are structurally embodied in the exposition.

The first section Art Phenomenon or Soviet Propaganda? includes the brief historical outline of Soviet state policies in the field of art and the overview of the conditions monumental artists faced in the 1960-1980s.

The second part of the exposition is dedicated to the objects that were decorated in Zhytomyr and Zhytomyr region. Here you can find out about the declared program of the aesthetic upbringing of the Soviet citizen and get acquainted with its actual realization.

The third section gives notice of the artists from Zhytomyr region who had to manoeuvre between the artistic expression and the Party decrees and prescripts.

The fourth part Today? informs the visitors about the present condition of monumental artworks in Zhytomyr region, the majority of which has been already liquidated or has been destroying due to the lack of protection and preservation system.

The final section Tomorrow? exposes the views of Ukrainian art historians, museum workers, and state cultural agents, collected by the project team. The list of the proposed options is far from being comprehensive, so we are encouraging the visitors of the exhibitions to engage in the discussion of the issue.

The exhibition is a part of the festival of contemporary culture Zhovten v Zhovtni (October in October)that will take place in Zhytomyr from the 26th of October till the 4th of November. Zhovten v Zhovtni is an essential event for the cultural life of the region that will be organized every year. Two parts comprise the festival: an open program and a conference that are described in detail at the official web resource.

The project team:

Luidmyla Zubko — project initiator, the Head of the NGO Zhytomyr: Zroby Holosnishe (Zhytomyr: Make It Louder)
Yevgen Nikiforov — photographer, researcher, author of the book Decommunized: Ukrainian Soviet mosaics
Pavlo Gudimov — curator
Polina Baitsym — art historian, researcher, author of the texts
Anna Oryshchenko — art historian, researcher
Larra Yakovenko — designer

Organisers:
NGO Zhytomyr: Zroby Holosnishe
Pavlo Gudimov Art Center Ya Gallery
Department of Culture of Zhytomyr Regional State Administration
Zhytomyr City Council

Partners:
State Archive of Zhytomyr Region
Zhytomyr Regional Organization of The National Union of Ukrainian Artists
Archival Department of Zhytomyr City Council

The project is realized with the support of Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.