Wartime Art Archive

Wartime Art Archive

Wartime Art archive

When the disaster happens, there is no difference in how predictable this event was beforehand. It is impossible to be ready for war. Reality immediately loses most of its shades and colours, two are enough for clarity. Each experience, either tragic or joyful, fluctuates in the highest indicators' amplitude. We are living through our tragedy in a direct line with the whole world. The crime and heroism facts are broadcast in real-time. Everything gets captured instantly, becomes public immediately, and is replaced with another newsbreak in a few hours. Media space doesn’t leave time for rehabilitation.

Art has a different nature, it requires distance for reflection.

However, for many Ukrainian artists, the need to react immediately has become a necessary action, a way to channel strong emotions and an act of personal resistance to Russian aggression. For thousands of users, those taken from the newsfeed images become a way to meet their emotions, curb fears and relieve tension with a smile. The collective traumatic experience made the language of art closer and more understandable for everyone.  

Since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion, MOCA NGO started the project "Wartime Art archive". Every day, Olha Balashova, Halyna Hleba and Tetiana Lysun conduct curatorial observations of artists who react to the war with art. 

Each work in the archive has a date of its publication on the social networks, usually coinciding with the date of creation. The Thursday of February 24, when the whole country woke up from the first bombings, is a curatorial observation point of reference. And it will last until our Victory. 

At the exhibition, the artworks from this collection (available for display) are shown. It will last until the moment of the actual and jural end of martial law announcement. This is a "live" exhibition, that will be supplemented and changed in continuous interaction with the collective experience of the war in real-time.

And we are looking forward to the day when we can announce the end of this project.  

Tetiana Lysun, Olha Balashova

Lizaveta Herman and Mariia Lanko, gallery curators:

Military law is a challenge for every cultural institution. This challenge is economical and organizational, and some kind of moral. Do we need galleries in times when many artists volunteer instead of doing studio work and collectors serve in the Ukrainian Arm Forces (at least three from our circle do so)? After a long, involuntary silence we decided – yes, the gallery and exhibition of artists, who find the strength to create, have to resume work. The Naked Room was and is one of those unique places that make the Golden Gate (note. Zoloti Vorota) area – the Kyiv flaming heart – a place of power, attractive to both citizens and guests of Kyiv, before the war and today. Yaroslav Val served as a defensive shelter for Kyiv. Nowadays, the "Reiterska area", with its community and independent businesses, is holding the urban and cultural defence. Thus, the gallery continues to carry out its usual mission and continues to be a meeting place for art with everyone who needs it now. We are glad that there are more and more such people in our city, that come livelier and livelier every day.