»On the Boundary of Two Worlds« introduces works by Alina Bukina, Oksana Ivantsiv, and Anna Manankina, three female artists from Ukraine who have been artists-in-residence at ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in recent months.
War has been going on in Europe since Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24th February 2022. Among the millions of people who have had to flee Russian aggression are numerous artists and cultural workers. But even if they have found shelter in the West, is it possible to find a new home under these conditions? And how is art affected by a war that has been going on in Ukraine not just since this year, but since 2014?
The exhibition includes videos, animation, and the presentation of documentary films, in which the broader context of Ukrainian identity under the conditions of the war is addressed. In the works of the three artists it becomes manifest how the direct experience of war and its representation in digital media have an influence on both the physical and the mental state of anyone who is affected by war.
In framework of this exhibition Alina Bukina presents her animation »Miracle Support«. This artwork, created with a single line in motion, has the idea of an internal connection between humans. Animation enables us to see the birth and development of the line within the museum space. As for the artist the work represents the strengthening of ties between people and that in the current situation there are no strangers anymore, she has dedicated it to Ukrainians and to all those who support them around the world.
Anna Manankina’s video installation »Natural History of Destruction« focuses on the theme of war experiences that affect bodily dynamics on a mental and a physical level. Visually this project is based on AI-generated images of bone structures interconnected with flowers, referencing the motif of "Death and the Maiden." With this the artist presents a particularly female perspective, the threat of “invasion of the body space.” This threat is the backdrop for how girls and women experience their bodies in wartime — it is the background of objectification, which is most acutely manifested in the threat of rape.
Human rights activist and film maker Oksana Ivantsiv will present on 6th January 2023 the documentary film »No Obvious Signs«, directed by Alina Gorlova in 2018, for which she was executive producer. The documentary follows the life of a female soldier who, after returning from war in the Donbass region, deals with the consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The film received awards at numerous international film festivals.
The works of the three artists represented in the exhibition and currently associated with the ZKM reflect on various threads, the loss of one's previous life, social connections, communication with relatives, and home; the grief over friends who were killed in the war and older family members; the support of each other, of volunteer organizations; and the hope for the future, for rebuilding, for regrowth and peace. The exhibition thus shares personal narratives, stories, and experiences, as a reference to a common future.