exhibition: 6/05/2022 – 20/05/2022
Curators: Olena Donets i Andriy Budnyk
Artists: Anastasiia Antonenko / Volodymyr Bolbas-Bayer / Andriy Budnyk / Anastasiia Bukharska / Diana Danchenko / Kateryna Davydenko / Valentyna Dvornik / Viktoriia Hereta / Iryna Holovko / Yelyzaveta Hunko / Kyrylo Karieiev / Valentyna Laguta / Valeria Lazebnyuk / Nazar Lazorenko / Olha Lomko / Olha Lozko / Melissa Luhova / Yaroslav Lushnia / Anastasiia Noskova / Mykola Mykytenko / Kateryna Musienko / Daniil Panchenko / Marina Perepelitsia / Viktoriia Petrova / Daryna Piontkevych / Lilia Pomelova / Maria Popova / Oleksandra Poshablia / Ruslan Rabenko / Oleksandr Romas / | Oksana Rublenko / Yana Shchavinska /
Maria Sukhotenko / Kateryna Sumar / Anastasiia Sydorchuk / Julia Trokhymchuk / Viktoriia Volodko / YADSUN
In times of trial, it is immediately clear who is who. During the day after the invasion, an online meeting of the Faculty of Graphic Design and Advertising of the Kyiv National University of Culture and Arts (KNUCA) and the Kyiv University of Culture (KUC) was held. In a matter of hours, a Telegram chat was created for students and teachers entitled «Creative Resistance KNUCA / KUC», where round-the-clock creative work began. Everyone who had the technical ability began to create patriotic posters. Those who had limited access to computer tools, tablets and graphic editors – monitored current content on social networks, formulated topics, composed slogans, selected references.
The main directions of the works were: heroism of the Armed Forces, barbarism and insidiousness of the Russian troops, a request for suport from the world community and NATO countries, protection of cultural monuments, positive and negative personalities in the war. Thus, the servile commercial function of graphic design (labels, packaging, layout) was reformatted to a patriotic state system.
The results were not long in coming: several dozen works were created and distributed online. With words of gratitude, people made reposts, distributed content on other resources. Thus, the National Union of Artists of Ukraine duplicated student posters on its Facebook and Instagram profiles, and received feedback from abroad, even from the occupied territories. At the same time, the works were made in print format, keeping in mind the possibility of holding thematic exhibitions and demonstrations. Therefore, the works presented to your attention are a physical realization of the creative activity of creative youth.
At one time, the Polish poster school was for Ukrainian poster artists almost the only window to Europe carved into the high walls of the communist regime. Demonstration of the game of intellect, the ability to succinctly and accurately express personal opinion in a unique creolized text – these principles of Polish poster art organically entered the practice of Ukrainian artists in the 1980s. The common denominator of the Ukrainian and Polish schools of the poster was the combination of expressive, extremely intense energy with a special poetic and lyrical; use of a wide range of associations, metaphors, allusions and subtexts.
Imitation of traditions is also characteristic of the works of the participants of the exhibition «Creative Resistance». And this is no accident. After all, Andriy Budnyk, the curator of the exhibition, is one of those who practiced in Krakow in the 1980s. This is such a game of fate. In the posters of Andriy’s students, Poland appears as a compassionate country, a true relative, a refuge that provides shelter and perceives our pain as its own. There are bloody tears of raped Ukrainian women in them. They are a combination of touching and naive with grotesque and dramatic. They are references to allusions that often do not require verbal emphasis. About Ukraine – the language of Ukrainian ornament, the language of symbolic yellow and blue colors; in the language of iconic images of Taras Shevchenko, Lesya Ukrainka, Ivan Franko. About the enemy – St. George’s ribbon and the letter «Z», which has already turned from a letter into a shameful sign of the Russian invaders. About the enemy – a quote from an old German engraving with a werewolf monster. War confuses the mind, bringing to the surface ugly-animal.
War determines choice and shows the place of everyone on whose side it is. Therefore, the works of Ukrainian students offered to your attention are not only the desire to master the language of poster art, but, above all, the desire to peace, exposing shameful war crimes, and seeking to contribute to the struggle with their main weapon, the poster.
We have before us the result of the work of students of graphic design departments of two Kyiv universities during the month of the war. These works were made on laptops in evacuation trains, in bomb shelters with disappearing electricity and the Internet, during curfew, under the pressure of being in the occupied territories, and so on. These works were made under the siren, in a state of emotional stress, depression due to separation from family and friends, far from home, but always with faith in the undeniable future victory of Ukraine. We cannot fail to win, because behind us is our 1000-year history, our pillars of the nation, our land, justice and God! Glory to Ukraine! Glory to heroes! Glory to the nation! Death to enemies! Ukraine is above all!
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