About past, present and future of Ukraine

Search mobile

Main Culture “Oleksandr Roitburd. Power Theory” An exhibition of the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre

Culture

“Oleksandr Roitburd. Power Theory” An exhibition of the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre

319
“Oleksandr Roitburd. Power Theory” An exhibition of the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre

Share this article

Photo: Sergiy Illin / PinchukArtCentre.

Oleksandr Roitburd: Power Theory exhibition is the outcome of the continuous efforts of the PinchukArtCentre Research Platform, which delves into phenomena and personalities significant to the history of Ukrainian art.

 

odessajournal 0

 

This exhibition was supposed to open in March 2022, six months after the artist's untimely death. Our plans, along with those of other cultural institutions and millions of Ukrainian citizens, were disrupted by the full-scale Russian invasion. However, the relevance of our chosen topic – the interaction of the artist, art, and power – has become even more significant for society over the years. Oleksandr Roitburd believed that an artist inherently possesses the power to influence the world and dedicated his life to fulfilling this vision. In his art, encyclopedically saturated to the point of redundancy, he identified various incarnations of power, including those manifested through myths and superstitions, the peaks of the world's intellectual and artistic heritage, the physical and subconscious, as well as political ideologies and images of specific statesmen. He advocated for the institutionalization of Ukrainian contemporary art, and towards the end of his life, he assumed the leadership and spearheaded the reform of an institution – the Odesa Fine Arts Museum. Thanks to Roitburd and the team he assembled, the museum attained the status of a national institution.

 

odessajournal 1



In 1995, Oleksandr Roitburd published his own manifesto, Art and the State, in which he wrote: Objectively, it is the state that is the only force interested in our existence. We are able to create a more attractive image for it in the eyes of the international community. We are better positioned to address the challenges of creating a new spiritual climate in culture and society, which is necessary during the stages of formation and reform. We are able to help society do away with stereotypes, become more open and dynamic. We are able to make a tangible contribution to the creation of a modern culture worthy of a European country, to give Ukraine relevant contemporary art focused on global artistic issues... We and the state are interested in each other. It's time to legalize our relationship.”

 

odessajournal 2



To implement this vision, Oleksandr Roitburd engaged with representatives of a wide range of political forces, established contacts with government authorities and influential businesses, and remained open to various people, far from snobbery. As shows the start of the exhibition, departs from his meeting with Harald Szeemann, one of the most influential curators in the world history. At the same time, Roitburd has always been characterized by irony and a tendency to openly criticize even those representatives of the authorities whom he supported, particularly if he observed antimodern or anti-democratic manifestations in their activities. He believed in еnlightenment, freedom, and the absolute importance of art. In the end, this journey led the artist to a position of power – in 2020, he was elected as a member of the Odessa region Council.

 

odessajournal 3

 

“The topic of power is extremely relevant in today's world. Russia's war against Ukraine has become a frontline in the confrontation between dictatorship and democracy. Another global challenge is populism. Oleksandr Roitburd believed in the educational project and the ability of civil society to defend universal values. And he saw uncontrolled power as a threat to both rights and freedoms and to the government itself,” says exhibition curator Kostiantyn Doroshenko.

 

odessajournal 4

 

The selection of works allows to understand the artist through his own perception: the interaction between culture, society, and power. Focusing exclusively on the works, documents, and artefacts from private collections and family, this exhibition is the outcome of the continuous efforts of the PinchukArtCentre Research Platform, to delve into phenomena and personalities significant to the history of Ukrainian art.

 

odessajournal 5



For the exhibition, Oleksandr Burlaka was invited to create an exhibition architecture that in itself comments on the figure of Roitburd and specifically his city of birth, Odessa.

Exhibition curator: Kostiantyn Doroshenko, affiliated expert of the Research Platform of the PinchukArtCentre.
Exhibition architect: Oleksandr Burlaka.

March 8, 2024 – July 14, 2024

 

odessajournal 6

odessajournal 7

The Odessa Journal
more articles

Top article

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract for the construction of a service center for repairing drones in Ukraine
War

The Ministry of Defense has signed a contract ...

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agreed to use Croatian ports for exporting Ukrainian grain
Business

Dmytro Kuleba: Ukraine and Croatia have agree ...

New sanctions: Defence industry, political parties and individuals linked to oligarchs
Business

New sanctions: Defence industry, political pa ...

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the next Ramstein meeting, we expect solidly grounded decisions to meet the prospects on the battlefield
War

Volodymyr Zelensky: We are preparing for the ...