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Presented By: Institute for Research on Women and Gender

Artists' Roundtable: "I have a crisis for you": Women Artists of Ukraine Respond to War

Lane Hall Fall Exhibit, 2022 Lane Hall Fall Exhibit, 2022
Lane Hall Fall Exhibit, 2022

Join us on Friday, September 16th from 3:30 to 5:00pm in Weiser Hall 1010 or on Zoom for the hybrid Artists’ Roundtable discussing the Lane Hall Gallery’s fall exhibit “‘I have a crisis for you’: Women Artists of Ukraine Respond to War” featuring work by Kinder Album, JT Blatty, Oksana Briukhovetska (MFA, Stamps School of Art and Design), Oksana Kazmina, Sonya Hukaylo, Svetlana Lavochkina, Kateryna Lisovenko, and Lyuba Yakimchuk.

Curators Grace Mahoney and Jessica Zychowicz will moderate a discussion among several of the featured artists. There will be time at the end for Q&A.

About the exhibit:
In February 2022, the world witnessed the invasion of Ukraine and all-out war of aggression by the Russian Federation. Since this time, massive casualties, human rights violations, and an unprecedented refugee crisis have ensued. Women artists of Ukraine have responded. They paint on found materials in refugee housing, illustrate in bomb shelters, photograph their shelled cities wearing press passes and bulletproof jackets. They document, create, and share. They post their daily journals and images on social media. They perform at the Grammy Awards. They know their message is powerful, and the amplification of their voices is critical for victory in a very real battle for survival.

Curated by Grace Mahoney (U-M Slavic Languages and Literatures) and Jessica Zychowicz, Ph.D. (Fulbright Ukraine and U-M Alumna), "'I have a crisis for you': Women Artists of Ukraine Respond to War" showcases work created by women artists in response to Russia’s war in Ukraine. The involved artists are painters, photographers, filmmakers, poets, translators, and textile artists. Many of the works exhibited demonstrate a continuity of engagement by the artists with the topic of war, especially since 2014 when the people of Ukraine gathered in a “Revolution of Dignity” against attempts by the Russian Federation to control the country’s independence resulting in Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and backing of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s east.

The featured artists have also been selected because of their prominent interest and exploration of issues relating to gender in their works. The title for this exhibit comes from a poem of the same name by Lyuba Yakimchuk:

“— our love’s gone missing, I explain to a friend/ it vanished in one of the wars/ we waged in our kitchen/ — change the word ‘war’ to ‘crisis,’ he suggests/ because a crisis is something everyone has from time to time.”

Like in Yakimchuk’s poem, many of these artists approach the war with personal perspectives. They intertwine, juxtapose, and disrupt experiences of war with the intimacies of personal relationships, the workings interior lives, and perceptions of social roles. The featured artworks and documents engage a range of subjects from women volunteering as combatants to the processes of grieving and reflect ongoing discourses in Ukrainian feminist scholarship.

The exhibit will be accompanied by a companion website which includes an expanded set of informational and aid-related resources.

"'I have a crisis for you': Women Artists of Ukraine Respond to War" is hosted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies with co-sponsorship from the Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies, the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, the Museum Studies Program, the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, and the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies.

The exhibit runs from August 25—December 16, 2022 in the Lane Hall Exhibit Space (204 South State Street).

Related Events:
Opening Reception with comments by the curators
4:00-6:00 pm ET, Thursday, September 15th, 2022
Lane Hall

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