Worth Fighting For
Oskar Jager Strasse 97-99, Keulen
14 November 2022 - 14 December 2022
Worth Fighting For
The Ukrainian fight is about the survival of a nation and its right to exist – politically, militarily, economically, and culturally. When the Russian invasion started, Western Europe responded with an amazing wave of support for its neighbouring country, justly considering it part of the European community, yet to this day, Ukraine as a culture remains barely known to many European citizens.
After the invasion had been launched, the PinchukArtCentre, the leading Ukrainian contemporary Art museum, teamed up with the Antwerp contemporary art museum M HKA to address not only immediate urgencies but also strategic challenges.
This war is not the end, not even a means to an end. The resistance and assistance are propelled by what may come after. On the most basic level, this implies that Ukraine and Western Europe get more acquainted, and in a second step, that their capacities start to enhance one another. Finally, it may also be about a joint understanding, joint imagination, and values. The horizon – just as the war and the aid – is therefore essentially a cultural one.
Art may offer a vital space of reflection for this, for Europe to better understand the vital and vibrant Ukrainian art scene as part of an international ecology, but also for Ukraine to keep seeing itself as part of a wider world. When re-opening the PinchukArtCentre in June this year, the partnership came to address a country at war; much more than a war zone, also a place where life and culture continue. This was the prime challenge. The outcome was an exhibition presenting a dialogue between an international selection of the M HKA collection, chosen because of their empowering and emancipatory capacity, a collection of recent works from Ukrainian artists, mostly produced in times of war. The project included the Russian War Crimes exhibition, as an unavoidable reference.
This exhibition now finds a second iteration in Cologne. And this is how it has to be; sharing thinking in a shared space. For Cologne, the dialogues have been reedited in seven spaces. They start with the landscape of war, immediately followed up by the space of world making, notions of landscape and everyday life, the double helix of the collective and individualism. And they conclude by weighing up the catastrophe of the Russian war crimes images against the potential of relevance of art.
Bart De Baere and Björn Geldhof
Open everyday from 10.00 untill 18.00