MOYA RIDNA

Moya Ridna (Ukrainian for “my darling”, “my special one”) is a fundraising exhibition and print sale showcasing photographs and paintings by 18 artists from Ukraine. The people behind these works either currently remain in Ukraine or have been forced out by the ongoing war perpetrated by the Russian government.

In the moments of despair we turn to the past. It is hard to break away from the familiar settings: intuitively, we continue to navigate our world as if the war has not terminated the very possibility of planning. The present works are the frozen artefacts from the time before the war on which we still unconsciously rely. 

When our homeland is associated with images of destruction and tragedy, we deliberately choose to omit such representation: here, none of the works addresses the present conflict directly. War is inexpressible: it depersonalizes every individual experience, it disrupts every fragment of memory that we deem inviolable. These works, conversely, are the radical expression of individual experience. This exhibition is an attempt to carry these experiences with us through the tragedy of the present.

We are looking at the future, where the frozen moments of the past guide us in recreating the image of a peaceful Ukraine. We whisper to her aching; we address her “Moya Ridna”, “moya ridna…”

Улиці (1916)*

Улиці залюднені, трамваї стрійні,

З очей таємних шовкові нитки

Снуються в душу, де плями мрійні,

Де тепло гріють зустрічні думки.

The streets are crowded, the trams are slender,

From secret eyes the silky threads

Scurry into the soul, where spots are dreamy,

Where the counter-thoughts are warm.

*Written by Mykhaylo Semenko. In 1937 he was executed by Soviet secret police for allegedly being an active member of Ukranian national fascist terrorist organization. It was later revealed that the organization never existed; Semenko was posthumously rehabilitated in 1957.

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