Art Basel

BACK TO THE USSR?

A quarter century ago, the coming down of the Berlin Wall ushered a sweeping, breathtaking transformation of the world system. One by one, Soviet bloc regimes fell, most of them peacefully, but some dragging their nations into turmoil and bloodshed. The tidal wave of hope, however, soon gave way to a bitter struggle for survival, against persistent economic and political problems—and, in many places in the former Soviet world, to a rise of new forms of authoritarian rule. Positions hardened, neo-imperial political projects were on the rise again. It seemed the world were indeed returning back to the days of the USSR. Yet this story was boldly challenged by the events that swept through Ukraine during the past year, reverberating all over the world.  It began as a peaceful protest in Kyiv’s Independence Square, and then grew into a mass gathering affirming personal dignity and the fundamental ideas behind the project of Europe’s democratic integration. The future of Europe as an idea was now at stake.

These events that came to be known as the Euromaidan transformed into a performative act linking art and political change. It bridged sacred and profane dimensions, transgressed boundaries, and linked traditional and avant-garde art forms. This new multimedia art project reflects, on the one hand, the desire for uniting the collective body, and on the other hand, projects new cultural roles for its participants. From photography to music, from painting to film, it boldly invites global audiences to affirm the principle of hope and to start a conversation about our visions for humanity’s future. The artists presented by Zorya Fine Art, hailing from a wide variety of backgrounds in Ukraine and around the world, extend this invitation to audiences at Art Basel Miami Beach.

Curated by Professor Vitaly Chernetsky, Associate Professor, Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Kansas and President of the Zorya, Inc., Foundation.

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