On February 24, 2022, a decades-long post-war order came to an end in an unfathomable way for the 21st century and of course, the world of art and culture don’t remain unscathed by the war. Artists have always spoken out critically and militantly against war and for peace, from Käthe Kollwitz, John Heartfield, and Friedl Dicker-Brandeis to Yoko Ono/John Lennon, Ai Weiwei, and Jenny Holzer. It’s no different in Ukraine, where artists are using the power of art to empower themselves in the face of crisis. With the help of different artistic media, they show us what is happening around them, tell their own stories, and convey their truth about a war that affects not only their own home country, but future world order. They shake us up and show what can happen if we feel too safe within our own confines or fall into paralysis of shock and nihilism.
In order to provide Ukrainian artists and cultural workers with an ad hoc space for their messages to the world–even if only virtually for now–the VIENNA ART WEEK wants to help the cultural initiative ARTISTS SUPPORT UKRAINE. The project was launched by Ukrainian activists to oppose the Russian war in Ukraine. They call on the global cultural community to stand up for Ukraine and become ambassadors of peace and justice. They suggest that cultural institutions clear a corner for an exhibition where current posters, videos, as well as personal stories of Ukrainian artists can be shown. Here, you’ll see a selection of this “ready-to-go exhibition.” In addition, there is the “Office Ukraine. Shelter for Ukrainian Artist”, which has its central contact point in the Museumsquartier in Vienna (tranzit.at) and is available to people seeking help from the cultural environment of Ukraine both online and on site as a mediation or coordination point.
The VIENNA ART WEEK would also like to express its solidarity with all Russian artists and cultural workers who stand up for peace and work and live under very difficult conditions in these complicated times.
#StopWarInUkraine #StandWithUkraine #ArtistsSupportUkraine #MakeArtNotWar #VAWcommunity