30-6-2022 - 28-8-2022
Galeria Labirynt | Plaza
About the exhibition
Exhibition opening: 30/06/2022 (Thursday), at 7:00 p.m.
Where: Galeria Labirynt Plaza, ul. Lipowa 13, Lublin
Accessibility: The exhibition is held on the ground floor in a space free from architectural barriers.
Exhibition on display: until 28/08/2022 (Tue-Sat: 1–6 p.m.; Sun: 12–7 p.m.)
Curator: Waldemar Tatarczuk
Oleksandr did not believe in the possibility of a full-scale war until the last moment. It was impossible for him to imagine that this could happen. He made his first drawing just before the Russian attack on Ukraine, on February 24th at about 3:00 a.m. and went to sleep. When he woke up around 9:00 a.m., he saw a lot of missed calls on his phone. He called his mother back and heard, “The war has begun.” He began to pack his suitcase according to instructions found on the internet. He got to the station where there were a huge number of people. Suddenly panic broke out. Convinced that it was a terrorist attack, Oleksandr ran home. He spent the next night in a friend’s apartment. In one of the drawings there is her room and his last night in Kyiv. All this day, night and the next day, he felt coldness and fear, for his life, his mother’s, living in Melitopol (a city in the South of Ukraine occupied by Russians), and of friends. On February 25 he managed to leave the bombed Kyiv to Uzhhorod, about 806.8 kilometres away. All this time, despite the feeling of danger, he felt some strange “cold calmness”, he says that it may have been the first reaction due to disease remission. This can be seen in subsequent drawings, which create a kind of sheet from a diary created during the war. Black and white, nervous sketches drawn on the floor, in low light, in the basement, psychiatric hospital, Uzhhorod, and Lviv, are a record of individual thoughts, emotions, mental states, but above all, a document of what cannot be allowed to forget. They arose under the influence of impulses, out of necessity, out of powerlessness. These are not cartoon “works” intended for presentation, rather they look as if private notes, the context of which is known only to the author. There is something of the nervousness of the brain, a device that records electrical impulses from the human body.
Oleksandr has no idea what to call this exhibition and this cycle. After all, naming is a form of rationalisation, and how to rationalise war crimes, brutal killing of civilians, kidnappings, rapes? The name would also create, in his opinion, an “exoticisation” of war. Therefore, this cycle-diary remains untitled. There are currently 24 drawings. Others will be created throughout the war.
(Oleksandr Halishchuk and Waldemar Tatarczuk)
OLEKSANDR HALISHCHUK (he/they) is a Ukrainian multimedia artist and queer anarchist. He was born on 29/10/1999 and grew up in the small town of Melitopol, which is one of the most crime-ridden and multinational cities of Ukraine. It is currently occupied by Russia. He graduated in Dutch linguistics at the Kyiv National Linguistic University in 2022, he finished Contemporary Art course at KAMA in 2020 and Alina Kleytman’s video [art] courses at the Viktor Marushchenko’s School of Photography in 2020. The main themes of his works are trauma, marginalisation, abuse, truth, and identity.