Ukrainian Village is a neighborhood we have probably all been to or through. It is the name of a neighborhood like any other. It’s Ukrainian community faced prejudice and resistance as all immigrant communities do when they arrive in the United States. That community was strong and proud and the current LIONS exhibit, a retrospective featuring pieces from the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA) permanent collection, is a time capsule of a part of that community.
To walk into this show is very much like discovering an old trunk in an attic. We are not sure about what everything is but we explore it. We begin to piece the story of this group together. We examine letters, posters and things that, in the hands of someone else, would have been garbage at the time.
We become familiar with repeated characters as they pop up throughout the show. These were the founders of the UIMA, The First Lions as referenced in the documentary that will be premiered on August 11th. These founders were Ukrainian immigrant artists and intellectuals.
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art Presents Time Capsule of a Community.
Photos throughout the show tease us with moments in time. We see them with their colleagues, at exhibitions that are also referenced in other areas with postcards or announcements. Because this is an artistic institution the artworks that are referenced in photographs are also on display. Every item has a part to play in giving us an idea of the time and energy that has gone into making this institution.
Two of these photos have been blown up so the people in them are lifesized. Looking into the eyes of the history of this institution allows us more space to explore. Those life-sized photos are the permission we need to engage in their history. This is a show of the history of an institution and the people that built it. These people loved their culture, their message, and even though it was scary at times they did it anyway.
Each piece of ephemera is a simple snapshot but together there is a story. This is a story of immigration, growth, strength and of course UIMA. This writer thinks the show is an exciting exploration, filled with clues and pieces to the bigger picture. This are so many clues in fact that we are drawn to knowing more. How did the people within this story get here in this show? What took place to get UIMA to where it is today? The answer to that will lie in The First Lions, a feature length documentary by On The Real.
Film. Made in conjunction with this exhibition The First Lions will bring these stories together told by the people who were there. The First Lions Premieres Saturday August 11th at UIMA
LIONS was Co-curated by Stanislav Grezdo and Robin Dluzen.
Thru September 30
Mon - Tue - Closed
Wed - Sun - 12 - 4
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art
2320 W Chicago Ave
MartinJon is an artist, coach and healer who is passionate about helping others grow. With a core belief that everything we see and experience is a reflection of ourselves MartinJon presents a unique approach to seeing the world and our lives. Learn more about MartinJon and all the facets of his work at MartinJon.com MiedoNoMas.com his blog MartinJon.net or connect on Instagram @MartinJon where you can connect with him directly.