Ukrainian-Polish project "Cultural luggage", which will run at the National Art Museum of Ukraine from May, 18 to September, 7 2012, is focused on reviewing the models of notion and interpretation of national history of art at classic museum; and rethinking the role of the museum in creating a social context for the artistic process. Seeing current trends in museum studies, it is not about impersonal 'broadcast' of values and experience accumulated by previous generations, but about their "addressing" to specific individual.
Selecting the Polish side as a partner is not random, art of our countries is closely linked by geography, history, numerous biographies and circumstances. Frescoes of Kyiv tradition in the Holy Trinity Chapel in Lublin Castle, "crowned icons" in the Orthodox churches, Sarmatian portrait during the Rzeczpospolita are only a few of the many manifestations of common layer of cultural heritage. On that layer at the beginning of the twentieth century developed a variety of bright creative individuals, national schools, and original art trends. Moreover, the polyphonic stream of Baroque was stronger in Ukraine, it could be felt even in constrained socialist realism and in emancipated and apolitical transavantgarde. In Poland in the mid-twentieth century was formed intellectually refined conceptualism, which despite its radicalism preserves the connection with the concepts of ancient art. That is why Polish conceptual presence in the space of the National Art Museum of Ukraine can be regarded as Alter Ego of Ukrainian art.
Works from the collection of such well-known cultural institutions of Warsaw as the National Gallery of Art "Zahenta" and the Center for Contemporary Art "Ujazdowski Castle" are placed in two exhibition halls and in six permanent exposition halls of the Museum. Ascetic by visual solution, but provocative in many ways by intellectual intention works of Andrzej Dluzhnyevsky Roman Opalka, Wlodzimierz Borowski, Zofia Kulik, Leon Tarasavych and other authors, are placed in rooms next to the Old Rus and Baroque icons of 15th – 18th centuries, historical portraits, elegiac stories of the 19th c., and lyrical landscapes. They will be a sort of nota bene to the compendium of art history, which a museum exhibition is. This paradoxical at first glance combination is designed to make a counterpoint effect that can make obvious joint for Ukrainian and Polish stratum of artistic heritage and cultural experiences in unexpected connotations.
Museum is a specific time-space that gives a different, distinct from everyday perception index. In the static look, which is firmly tied to the location on a map, museum itself is a kind of map that indicates the unknown territory of ideas, memory, experience and archetypes. All that a man as a social being carries as luggage, often unaware of that. A trip over this territory is always a chance if not to decipher cultural codes that shape social identity and the identity of each of us personally, then at least go through some intellectual adventure. This is a chance that one should take in any case.
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