Mystical Images of WAR, 2022

Ira Chipak, Tatiana Moloda, Nina Savenko, Chuna and Alexander Son /// Curated by the BOUNDScollective

Wheat Paste Poster Installation

ARTIST STATEMENTS:

As we move through this incredible period of change, we make time to circle and process. This exhibition is an improvised collaboration organized and curated by Bennington College students from Belarus, Malawi and the United States. Featured artworks by Ira Chipak (Ukraine), Tatiana Moloda (Ukraine), Nina Savenko (Ukraine), Chuna (Russia) and Alexander Son (Belarus). These works are intuitive in nature, streaming out of dialog related to war as an experience and how it alters our spaces, minds, bodies, and collective consciousness. At times these works speak apart from one another. Other times, they appear to share the same insistent voice.

The poster works imbue our feelings of fear, horror, despair, powerlessness and empathy. Both traditional and contemporary iconography has been detailed throughout. The curative theme for this exhibit was inspired by the works of Natalia Goncharova (Mystical Images of War 1914) as well as the street art and pro-democratic posters displayed throughout Minsk during the Belarusian uprising of 2020-21. The MYSTICAL IMAGES OF WAR posters project was conceived of and installed by the BOUNDScollective, an initiative of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College.

ARTIST BIO:

My name is Ira Chipak, I am fifteen years old, and I live and go to school in Lviv, Ukraine. Writing this description and looking back at my poster, I wish I could have done something more creative. It is difficult to have the capacity to create in a war zone. It is difficult to gather my thoughts, sculpt, draw or embroider for hours.

It is still difficult to get used to anxiety, fear, and the idea that my family or myself could be the next to die. I poured my heart and soul into this poster to draw Americans’ attention to the war in Ukraine. My people plead for your continued support to fight for freedom, democracy, and choice.

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My name is Alexander Son. The two pieces emerged from the need to exhale, spit, take out of me at least part of the corrosive horror of the new monstrous reality. In this symbolic sublimation, Goya acts as a guide through hell (like Virgil for Dante), and the main interlocutor who knows how to ask the right question. And wait, wait, wait for an answer for a long time.