The Ukrainian-Danish team, inspired by the phenomenon of constructivist architecture, presents the multimedia project “Ukrainian Constructivism”, created at the intersection of modern visual art, ballet, electro-folk music, and historical drama.
The Ukrainian-Danish team, inspired by the phenomenon of constructivist architecture, presents the multimedia project “Ukrainian Constructivism”, created at the intersection of modern visual art, ballet, electrofolk music and historical drama.
Ukrainian-Danish artist and architect Serhiy Sviatchenko, choreographer of the Royal Danish Ballet Sebastian Kloborg together with Ukrainian architect Ievgeniia Gubkina, musicians Nata Zhyzhchenko (Onuka) and Yevhen Filatov (the Maneken) co-authored a grand digital performance. Reinforced by a research group of Ukrainian and European historians and art critics – Ievgeniia Gubkina, Yaroslav Perekhodko, Anastasia Bozhenko, abd Christian Kortegaard Madsen – the international team based their digital performance on an in-depth study of constructivist architecture and history.
The 1920s and 1930s period in Ukraine, almost excluded from the Soviet historical narrative, has parallels with the international “turbulent twenties”. Ukrainian constructivism refers not only to a movement of international modernism of the 20th century, but an entire historical era, and a standalone cultural brand. Therefore, the script of the performance was based on a real story. The action revolves around Lotta Beese’s, a young German modernist Bauhaus architect, memories from her trip to Kharkiv in the early 1930s. The time between wars was incredibly contradictory and tragic for Ukrainians. The events unfold during the transition from the “socialist construction” of the New Economic Policy (NEP) and Nationalist Communism to the “forced industrialization” and Stalin’s totalitarianism. Flourishing avant-garde arts, science, architecture, and the growth of national self-consciousness, ended with the rise of the totalitarian system in the entire Soviet Union.
“Constructivism as a phenomenon in the global cultural discourse is presented exclusively as Russian Avant-garde and Russian Constructivism. The fundamental idea of our project is to promote Ukrainian Constructivism as a brand and a unique element of national identity”, – says Ievgeniia Gubkina. – “We want our project to become a powerful tool of cultural diplomacy, which will help increase public awareness of the problems of Ukraine’s modernist heritage: a heritage that is part of the treasury of modernist monuments of Europe and the world”.
The team sees the language of contemporary art and the experimental digital format as an opportunity to draw attention to cultural heritage preservation issues, helping constructivist’s monuments receive UNESCO protection. Serhii Svyatchenko, Ukrainian-Danish artist and architect and one of the most influential collage artists, created the scenery and costumes that interpret the avant-garde art of the 1920s, while sound design was created by Nata Zhyzhchenko (Onuka) and Yevhen Filatov (The Maneken), who are famous for their experimental approach to sound and have represented Ukraine internationally more than once.
The project was created on the eve of the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian-Danish diplomatic relations and is curated by the NGO «Urban Forms Center» with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation.
Collages: Sergei Sviatchenko
Photos: Yuriy Gryaznov
NGO «Urban Forms Center,» specializes in studying and protecting Ukrainian architectural and cultural heritage and promoting Ukraine internationally. Since its formation in 2014, «Urban Forms Center» have realized tens of national and international research, science, educational, and art projects in Kyiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Zaporizhya, and Slavutych, in particular, the innovative multimedia online project ‘The Encyclopedia of Architecture of Ukraine.’ Official partner is DOCOMOMO International.