08.05.2019 – 13.05.2019
Stereotype is an exhibition about the phenomenon of stereotypization which nowadays is approached from the extremely negative point of view or not approached at all (in the cases where stereotype-based notions are considered to be true). The project is an attempt to analyze the reasons behind the emergence of a stereotype and the principles of its action. The curators are also seeking ways to understand what can really be a stereotype.
A stereotype (Greek: Στερεός — firm, solid + τύπος — impression) is an established judgment of anything (a group of people/objects/ phenomena), built on the ground of the absolutization of certain experience and generalization.
Generalizations, in turn, are formed on the basis of the most distinctive features. For instance, a profession, nationality, gender. Stereotypes grant all the members of the group the same traits which sometimes leads to bias or even discrimination.
As a set model of behaviour or a position, a stereotype reduces the need for each person to acquire new knowledge independently and form their own point of view. It subordinates decisions and personal judgements to socially recognized patterns. Nevertheless, when the amount of information that a person has to possess in daily life is constantly growing, it is hardly possible to study each object and situation without neglecting the experience of others. In this case, a stereotype is a guide that simplifies communication, allowing you to promptly respond to new challenges without spending time and effort on research and forming your own perspective. Stereotypes can also act as standards of relationship in society, playing an essential role in the process of self-identification of a person as a member of a particular group.
In practice, stereotypes demonstrate enormous sustainability that would have been impossible without their distribution through media, literature, cinema, folklore or through the exchange of experience in direct communication. Persons who lack particular experience can acquire the most indirect and most widespread knowledge through mass media or communication. Thus, the prevalence of information can offset its inconsistency with the realities.
Nevertheless, enriching our own experience and learning new situations make it possible to consider stereotype-based judgments as just one of the possible options of the actuality.
The project is realized within All-Ukrainian Program “Сhildren's Democracy" which was established by Mystetskyi Arsenal Charity Fund and Maryna Poroshenko's Social Program jointly with Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex, the Ukrainian Leadership Academy, and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.