25 December 2017

Source: WoMo

On December 8, Kyiv History Museum opened Marry Me! exhibition presented by Zenko Gallery, which works with young curators allowing them to try their hand at the job. The gallery is a branch of Zenko Foundation supporting Ukrainian contemporary art and culture. The exhibition consists of works by 25 female artists who showcase their attitude towards marriage, its emotional, symbolic and verbal components through paintings, installation, video arts, and innovational artistic means. What do the words “marry me” mean for a contemporary woman?

Teresa Barabash Transparency fragment

Four girls have frozen in protracted silence, holding pumpkins in their hands: this is a symbol of marriage proposal refusal in the Ukrainian tradition. This silent performance titled No! was presented by artist Nina Murashkina at the opening of Marry Me! exhibition. “This is a shout-out to all women not to be afraid to refuse if they don’t want to chain themselves up in marriage,” the artist says.

Nina Murashkina silent performance NO!

The authors of exhibition concept say that their primary goal is to show the diversity of women’s outlooks on marriage as social institution and tradition. To create a polyphony of opinions and artistic methods, 25 Ukrainian female artists belonging to different generations were offered to express themselves on the topic of marriage.

The work by Masha Shubina, a girl without a face, was chosen as the centerpiece for the exhibition. Natalia Lugovskaya presented her installation made of wings, and the installation by Anna Moskalets consisted of two beds, red and blue.

The exhibition organizers propose the audience to interpret the idea behind each exhibit on their own; thankfully, there is enough room for fantasizing here – all available instruments of artistic expression, such as installations, video art, and painting, were used in compiling the exhibition.

Tatyana Malinovskaya The Triumph

Tatyana Malinovskaya, artist, author of idea and curator of Marry Me! exhibition:

The exhibition concept was born long before its implementation. I wanted to create a space where women could speak their mind about marriage, family, and everything relevant to this topic in some way. The traditional institution of marriage left a woman with a passive role – she was chosen, but now everything is changing, and we have the right to both choose and speak out.

We gathered Ukrainian female artists who became actively engaged in this unique lab and created their statements using various tools, e.g., paintings, installations, and sculptures.

For someone marriage means chains, and for another one, flowers. Some consider it a rudiment of the past and an optional attribute, and still others, an essential stage in life.

I have friends who are artists and have lived together in a couple for many years. I asked them why they still haven’t got married. My question obviously surprised them, as they don’t see any point in marriage and don’t even think about it. That is why Marry me! is predominantly a research project to study different viewpoints. Each person perceives it through the prism of one’s experience.

Tetyana Kolesnyk Marry Me!

Yulia Nuzhina, exhibition co-curator:

We wanted to showcase not just the diversity of views but the different means of self-expression used by artists. One of the participants, Anastasia Loyko working in science art genre, presented a pixel sculpture. A flow of computer symbols was projected on the figures of two dogs; the artist used a mathematical calculation to create a moving image. An accompaniment to this performance was the music generated by software. Combination of art and science is a new medium, and it was vital for us to use that to express the idea of the exhibition.  

Exhibition organizers stress that the primary accent of the exhibition is on the diversity of feminine perception of marriage. You can see the unique creative products of Ukrainian contemporary artists and find out about their perception of our society and its institutions until January 8 in Kyiv History Museum.

Natalia Roi Mood. Crimson. From the “Mood. To Exist” triptych

More on project here