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September 3 - October 2, 2022


Dreamers and Craftsman,House of Social Innovations,

Bratska 25 Str., 3rd floor, Warsaw

Right now, when active hostilities continue on the territory of Ukraine, the exhibition of the international art residence BIRUCHIY TRANSCARPATHIA 022. ART WAR opened in the center of Warsaw, at Bratska 25. The residency, implemented by the public organization "Union of Contemporary Art Researchers", brought together 40 artists from Ukraine, Italy, the USA, UK, Austria, France, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Poland.

A full-scale war emphasizes again the importance of the struggle in the cultural field and the need to defend the independence of Ukrainian artists. Russian invasion forced many of artists to leave their homes, but did not force them to give up the struggle for freedom. Against the background of unity in this common struggle, their cooperation with foreign collegues became actualized even more than before.

The residency, which took place two months ago in the small village of Nyzhnie Selyshche in the Khust district of the Zakarpattia region of Ukraine, united artists in a single creative process that contained sharp contemporary reflections and strategic thinking, gave birth to new collaborations and visions of a common future.

"In Warsaw, we are showing the works of the first, real, living residence of contemporary art, created in a country that is forced to fight and resist an insidious enemy. This is the largest current exhibition of Ukrainian artists in Poland, —comments the president of the NGO "Union of Contemporary Art Researchers" and the commissioner of the BIRUCHIY Сontemporary Art Project Gennadiy Kozub, — Today I want to thank all my Polish friends who participated in the organization of this event. During the war, the Poles supported Ukraine in all directions. It is very touching. Next, we plan to show the project in Germany, UK and the USA already this year. Now, more than ever, we need to show contemporary Ukrainian art to the world.

"The exhibition included works created during the project or on the eve, during the invasion and active hostilities: painting, graphics (in particular, a series of wartime posters), installations, sculpture, photo and video documentation of events in Irpin, Bucha, Hostomel, Vorzel, Borodianka, Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lysychansk, and other Ukrainian cities, partially or even completely wiped off the face of the earth.

Ilya Isupov (Kyiv, Ukraine) created a prophetic installation, depicting a portrait of a young conscript who gets his hair cut before being sent to the army to serve the people of Ukraine, incorporating his own message into the structure of the work. Having lost touch during his stay at the residency with another participant from Italy, Lucrezia Decai (Naples), the author of the work portrayed a colleague whom he had never seen in his life until now... Lucrezia himself, having familiarized himself with the local context and experience of Ukrainian artists, made blood-red abstract paintings, reflecting on the feeling of physical pain and loss.

Mykola Matsenko (Cherkasy, Ukraine), who consistently dissects the history and modernity of Ukraine, presented two works in his iconic "Heraldic" manner. "The History of Maritime Law" is a composition dedicated to the lawlessness that the russians have been committing for a long time in the Black and Azov seas, taking hostages and other people's property and violating all international norms. The second canvas "History" is a heraldic "vanitas" with a skull and a book — a reminder of the passage of time and the fact that history consists of individual human destinies. All the lives passed through its millstones become signs, letters put on paper, and this is an endless process. "Everything goes, everything passes - and it has no end," as Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko wrote in the poem "Haydamaky".

Viktor Pokydanets, who was barely able to leave the blockaded Mykolaiv in the spring, presented "Secret Honeycombs of russian literature" in which the voluminous openings for storing cold and firearms carved in russian books symbolize that carefully hidden and strategically planned propaganda machine aimed at the destruction of Ukrainian identity, the genocide of Ukrainian citizens and their cultural discrimination. Also within the residence, the author created a series of paintings "Cute Shapes", raising the theme of the looting of Ukrainian homes by soldiers of the Russian Federation.

Mykola Honcharov created the ARTWAR graphic series. The author himself talks about these works like this: "Fleeing from Kyiv on the Zhytomyr highway on the third day of the war, I first saw a bus with the inscription "CHILDREN" made on the glass with masking tape. Later, I saw the same buses shot by the russians. Pictures about hope and hopelessness".

Clemens Poole (New York, USA), who has been actively interacting with the Ukrainian context for several years, created an installation from found objects called untitled (fasci). The work  explores the way remnants of Ukraine’s Soviet past have become symbolic links to a new fascism in the wake of Russia’s full scale invasion. When bent tightly together, seemingly polar ideological symbologies expose a sinister unity.

The diptych "Ghostly Still Life" by Yuriy Koval (Lviv, Ukraine) aesthetically showes the absence and emptiness —physical, essential, moral — extracted from the lives of millions of Ukrainians who were deprived of their relatives, children, parents, friends, homes, pets, and personal belongings. Ukrainians who survived and because of russian military aggression became temporarily displaced persons or forced refugees to other countries.

Oleksiy Sai (Kyiv, Ukraine) presented the "News" series. Textured black paint on crisp white paper, a monochrome diary of war where each page contains new destruction. Black clouds of smoke from explosions, devoid of geographical ties, imprints of the daily gloomy information flow, which has become the constant background of everyday life.

Yuriy Yefanov, who currently lives in Kyiv but grew up in Crimea, presented the installation "The farther the homeland, the more beautiful it is." In his work, the artist combines nostalgia for his native land, its mythologizing and poeticizing with harsh reality. He draws attention to how kitschness and brutality of russian propaganda, which is produced by the ideological machine with the same success as the recreation industry produces its label pictures, has been superimposed on the kitschness of "resort mass culture", originally inherent in Crimea.

The winner of the Shevchenko Prize Oleksandr Glyadyelov, who precisely documents military events every day, and the Kyiv fashion photographer Vera Blansh presented a series of photographs capturing terrible events, destroyed cities, homes and lives of Ukrainian residents.

The graphic works of Vlada Ralko from the series "Lviv Diary" and Volodymyr Budnikov from the series "Time of War" were represented at the exhibition.

Nadia Polevych (Rome, Italy) created the #NFT#Matryoshka series. 2022, a representation of the actual, current existence of the Soviet symbol, passed over from the time of the Second World War. As a result, the black-and-orange "George ribbon" next to "quilters" and "bears" acquires a completely different meaning, being associated already with "polite people" from the time of the annexation of the Crimea and the "Z" army of rashists today.

The exposition also featured three documentaries related to the participants of the exhibition and their works. "Kadyrivska Palyanytsia" — about how Zhanna Kadyrova and Denys Ruban create a series of objects called "Palyanytsia", purchasing cars and military ammunition for the Ukrainian army with the funds received from the sale of works. "Shporyk" is about artists from Uzhgorod who turned an art workshop into the production of compact stoves for use in wartime conditions. "Replenishment of the Gennadiy Kozub’s contemporary art collection" is the story of the return to the war-ravaged apartment in Irpin of the founder and organizer of the BIRUCHIY residence, and about what the russian occupiers left him in the crushed warehouse where the art collection was kept. The authors of the films are Ivan Sautkin, Hanna Yeresko and Olena Zashko.

"This is our own and at the same time collective experience. The experience of losing a home, physically destroyed due to military aggression. The experience of grief and anxiety, fear and hatred, boundless love, willpower and unity for the sake of victory, — summarizes the director of the BIRUCHIY residence Olena Speranska, — We were able to survive, and we had enough strength to concentrate and continue what is most important right now: not to be silent, and to act in the language of art, sincerely, frankly, without any restrictions. We are free, and this inner freedom is felt in every work."

But the war continues. On all fronts. Since the beginning of the full-scale war in Ukraine, children have suffered as a result of armed aggression. More than 500 children died from the aggression of the occupiers and more than 1,000 were injured. As a result of the war, more than 80,000 civilians died on the territory of Ukraine. Brutal murders, rapes, executions, abuses, looting, humiliation and terror — all these actions are carried out every day by the russian military, starting on February 24, 2022. All these actions are carefully hidden by the military propaganda of the aggressor country. All these actions are silenced, the facts are carefully distorted, a "different" reality is imposed on world society, in which there is no word "war".

The ART WAR artistic residency project of the BIRUCHIY Contemporary Art Project was created to draw attention to the problems of psychological assistance to children affected by violence during the war launched by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, and to raise funds for additional financing of the Charity Fund "Posmishka UA" (Smile UA), which takes care of this question.

In the project also took part: Gabriele Abbruzzese (Catania, Italy), Yehor Antsyhin (Kyiv, Ukraine), Julia Beliaeva (Linz, Austria), Volodymyr Budnikov (Kyiv, Ukraine), Artem Volokitin (Kharkiv, Ukraine), Daniil Galkin (Kyiv, Ukraine), Volodymyr Gulich (Zaporizhia, Ukraine), Zhanna Kadyrova (Kyiv, Ukraine), Pavlo Kerestey (London, Great Britain), Vitaliy Kokhan (Kharkiv/Kyiv, Ukraine), Nikita Kravtsov (Yalta, Ukraine/Paris, France), Nastya Loyko (Zaporizhia, Ukraine), Tetiana Malynovska (Kharkiv, Ukraine), Olexa Mann (Uzhhorod, Ukraine), Roman Minin (Kharkiv, Ukraine), Nina Murashkina (Barcelona, ​​Spain), Pavla Nikitina (Brno, Czech Republic), Maria Pasichnyk (Scottsdale, USA), Maria Proshkovska (Bologna, Italy), Oleh Putrashyk (Uzhgorod, Ukraine), Vlada Ralko (Kyiv, Ukraine), Denys Ruban (Kyiv, Ukraine), Andriy Stegura (Uzhgorod, Ukraine), Marsel Onysko (Uzhhorod, Ukraine), Sergei Sviatchenko (Copenhagen, Denmark), Stachu Shumski (Warsaw, Poland), Polina Shcherbyna (Kyiv, Ukraine), Alina Yakubenko (Kyiv, Ukraine), ZOLOTAR / Oleksii Zolotariov (Kyiv, Ukraine / Berlin, Germany).



Gennadiy Kozub, Viktoria Burlaka, Natalia Matsenko, Olena Speranska



Since 2008, the NGO "Contemporary Art Researchers Union" has been organizing the BIRUCHIY Contemporary Art Project. The residence was founded in 2006, and during its 17 years of existence, more than 300 authors and 14 art groups from 19 countries of the world took part in it: Italy, France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Russia, UK, the USA, the Republic of Belarus, Australia, Canada, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kazakhstan.

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Dom Towarowy Bracia Jabłkowscy S.A. is a family business with over 135 years of tradition, managing the building at 25 Bracka Street (the historic Bracia Jabłkowscy Department Store), and the Jabłkowski House at 21 Chmielna Street.

The company rents office space, event spaces and offers accommodation (Apple Inn). At the same time, he conducts conceptual work related to the resumption of commercial activities in the historic Department Store. In addition to commercial activities, the company is involved in numerous social projects, incl. lends space to the activities of the 'Marzyciele i Rzemieślnicy' initiative.

Kamiliańska Misja Pomocy Społecznej — a non-governmental organization involved in supporting people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Over the years, the mission for the benefit of excluded people has gained experience and contacts with other entities, thanks to which it was able to react quickly and support war refugees. On a daily basis, she helps people experiencing homelessness. He runs a shelter for men, training flats and helps people in public spaces. Professionals who have been working in the Mission for many years - social workers, career counselors, psychologists and lawyers have become an excellent team training new people willing to help. Efficiently trained volunteers help refugees, incl. in completing documents, obtaining the necessary certificates or looking for a job. People from Ukraine who want to act for their citizens have also joined the team. The professional and life experiences of people from Poland and Ukraine allowed us to build a thriving team. In the first place, we managed to coordinate information volunteering at Dworzec Zachodni in Warsaw. In the following weeks, the Mission coordinated the volunteers at the Central Railway Station in Warsaw. Information volunteering supported thousands of people who reached Warsaw. At the same time, mothers with children found a home and support in the facility run by the Mission.

Marzyciele i Rzemieślnicy. Dom Innowacji Społecznych (Dreamers and Craftsmen. The House of Social Innovation) is a place that is to support the development of the city and its inhabitants, initiate wise changes and improve the quality of life.

It is created for creative, unconventional people who are close to the issues of quality of life in the city, caring for its space, as well as implementing public policy. It brings together people involved in the development of social projects, coming from all kinds of backgrounds. It supports practical ideas and projects relating to real challenges.

Marzyciele i Rzemieślnicy is a place of daily office work for change leaders and important, inspiring events —debates, conferences and workshops. This is a place for anyone who has an idea to change the world for the better.

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The Longo Maï is a network of 10 communities in France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Romania and Ukraine. These are hundreds of people living and working together without any wage hierarchy or subordination. This movement emerged in 1968 in Western Europe on a wave of anti-authoritarian and anti-capitalist ideas, with the desire to create a sustainable countermodel to a society governed by money itself. Its ideological origins lie in the early socialist movements and ideas of utopian thinkers, whose roots go back to the Middle Ages.

For almost 50 years, Longo Maï has combined sustainable agriculture and quality food production with social and political involvement in the problems of refugees, oppressed small farmers and other unjustly marginalized social groups.

ZHOVID THE RESIDENCE — multidisciplinary residence in the north of Ukraine, in the Chernihiv region. Free space for artists, musicians, filmmakers, theatergoers and anyone interested. The residence is focused on unusual, experimental things, because there are all the conditions to focus on work and rethink their creative beliefs in a calm atmosphere. The residence can comfortably accommodate up to 25 people, there are rooms for art workshops, theater and concert stage, cinema, exhibition space. During the ten years of its existence, many interesting projects have been implemented here, including international art open-airs, individual and group residencies for creative people from around the world, educational programs, film screenings, exhibitions, concerts, theater performances and much more.

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Olena Speranska